There he is! The real Kobe! I needed to see that face one last time. The face of someone so confident in his own abilities that he is flat out offended by anyone so much as asking whether or not a person has gotten the better of him mano a mano. In the eyes of Kobe Bryant, suggesting the mere possibility of a single person beating him to 11 is the most disrespectful thing you could say to him. I genuinely think he would rather have a reporter question whether Shaq was responsible for his success than question his unrecorded past performances on the blacktop. One-on-one is the ultimate test of fortitude, and 'the Black Mamba' will be damned if he's going to leave the game of basketball with anyone thinking he doesn't have the biggest balls in the history of the sport.
I also have no doubt he is telling the truth. The only reason the entirety of Kobe's game isn't truly built for one-on-one is because it's better suited for one-on-two or one-on-three. With the degree of difficulty of the shots he makes along with his inability (before his year, of course) to casually play basketball for fun it's no wonder that he's never been had. Can you Imagine if he had an off day and someone was up on him 10-9? He would literally murder them in the middle of a public park before he let them score that decisive point. He would stare so deep into their soul prior to that last possession that they would probably be forced run home after peeing directly down their leg. We all have that friend that takes pick-up games too seriously. Kobe Bryant would eat that friend's heart in broad daylight. Simply put, you can't beat a man as talented as Kobe Bryant in one-on-one when he treats Game 7 of the NBA Finals and a friendly game of 21 as if they are one and the same.