It seems like every player that encountered Kobe or was around him has some kind of crazy story that revolves around “The Mamba’s” competitiveness and unreal will for winning. Former NBA player and Milwaukee Bucks legend Michael Redd is no different, as he had the chance to play alongside Kobe for team USA at the 2008 Bejing Olympics and see it firsthand.
We had a great interview with Redd on our “1-ON-1 with Basketball Network” podcast, where we talked about various topics, from Michael’s career, his take on the NBA season, business ventures, and playing on the “Redeem Team.” While talking about playing on Team USA, Redd mentioned his intense game of Pop-a-Shot versus Kobe.
During every Olympics, all the athletes are located in the Olympic Village, which has numerous attractions and activities to keep the large number of participants entertained. One of the attractions was the classic arcade that, of course, had to have the Pop-a-Shot basketball game.
One day Michael Redd and Kobe Bryant started to have a friendly duel to kill some free time, but it didn’t take long before things started to get competitive. The battling would go on and on as hours passed by. Redd and Kobe both were drenched in sweat and focused like they were playing in a real game. They had a crowd watching them, as everybody around got a taste of the notorious competitive drive that made Kobe who he is.
At that time, Redd was one of the best shooting guards in the NBA, averaging 22.7 points per game that year, while Kobe played in the Finals every year and in his prime. Unfortunately for Redd, the injury he suffered after those Olympics proved to be the end of his best days, as he never fully recovered. Never the less he achieved a great career and followed it with a great business one after he retired from the NBA, as you can listen more about that in our interview with Michael down below.