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Playing with LeBron James and Kobe Bryant makes me 'super-fortunate', says Larry Nance Jr

Monday 4 May 2020 09:48, UK

LeBron James and Kobe Bryant compete in a 2016 regular season game
Image: LeBron James and Kobe Bryant compete in a 2016 regular season game

Thibaut Courtois took on Cleveland Cavaliers forward Larry Nance Jr on NBA 2K20 Sundays, with Kobe Bryant and LeBron James top of their agenda.

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Nance played for the Los Angeles Lakers alongside Bryant for the first three seasons of his NBA career before he was traded to the Cavs in February 2018, where he teamed up with James.

Nance selected the Cavaliers in his Sunday night 2K showdown with Courtois, who chose to play with the Indiana Pacers.

During their game, Courtois asked Nance about his experiences playing with Bryant and James.

Larry Nance Jr. played with both Kobe Bryant and LeBron James 2:11
Larry Nance Jr said he felt fortunate he was able to play with two of the top five players in NBA history in Kobe Bryant and LeBron James

"Getting to play with two of the top five players of all time - I feel like I am super-fortunate to be able to have done that. Not many people have got to do that," Nance said.

"Everybody knows about Kobe, he was just a legend. When you shoot paper into a trash can, you say 'Kobe'. Everybody our age, that is who we grew up watching. Playing with him was so cool. When he walked in a room, everybody looked at Kobe. He didn't have to say anything, you felt him walk into the room.

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"I grew up going to LeBron's high school games and being the biggest fan. When I got traded to the Cavaliers and got to play in the Finals with him, that was really cool as well. I have been very lucky with the guys I have got to play with."

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Real Madrid goalkeeper Courtois asked Nance if seeing the two superstars up close every day in practices had had an impact on him.

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"Absolutely," Nance said. "LeBron worked so hard. He was always the first one at practice and the last one to leave. To see him doing that at that stage of his career was crazy. There are rookies that don't work that hard."

The pair's in-game chat then turned to the 2019-20 MVP race. Giannis Antetokounmpo remained the favourite to win the award when the NBA was suspended on March 11. However, thanks to two statement Lakers wins over the Milwaukee Bucks and LA Clippers shortly before the season hiatus, James had pulled close to the 'Greek Freak'.

preview image 1:49
Larry Nance Jr says although he feels Giannis Antetokounmpo deserves this season's MVP, LeBron James has had a case for the last decade

"I think Giannis was going to win the MVP," Nance said. "Milwaukee are the best team in the league, record-wise. But it's so tough, you could argue LeBron has deserved the MVP (every season) for the past 10 years."

Courtois responded that James' consistent excellence over the past decade in some way hampers his MVP credentials.

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"Once to reach that level, (people) feel those performances are normal," he said. "That's a big issue when you are at the top."

Nance concurred: "That is true. LeBron makes it look so easy that we take it for granted."

Back on the 2K20 court, Nance's Cavaliers handed Courtois' Pacers a 68-56 loss. It was Courtois' second successive Sunday night defeat following his loss to Atlanta Hawks' forward John Collins.

"Good game," Nance told Courtois. "I am going to call John Collins and talk some trash to him."

Watch Thibaut Courtois take on a fellow big-name sports star on NBA 2K20 every Sunday, live on Sky Sports' YouTube channel.

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