Reportedly, USA hitter Jozy Altidore was at the Lakers game and saw David Beckham sitting nearby.
He apparently approached the injured England/Galaxy Superstar and engaged in some serious smack talk.
Later, Altidore told YAHOO SPORTS in an exclusive interview:
“I saw Becks there and I had to go over and tell him what is going to happen in South Africa. I made sure he knows how it’s going to be without him playing – USA 3, England 0"
Reportedly, Altidore had been invited to the Lakers locker room to meet Kobe Bryant but was so caught up in harassing DBecks that he forgot all about it.
“When you look at American sports like basketball and football the one thing you notice is the confidence,” Altidore said.
“Guys like Kobe have that total belief in themselves that they are going to make the shot, win the game, get the job done, no questions asked.
“That is the kind of mentality that we want to have. It is not arrogance; it is about trusting yourself and your abilities.”
“We don’t worry too much about names.
“What has happened in the past year has shown us that we don’t need to be afraid of any team, no matter how good they are or what their reputation is.
“That is a big step. To beat these teams you have to believe you can, and to believe you can play at that level too. If you don’t do that when you go out on the field, you will find yourself playing their game, and you have no chance.”
Look, I'm as big a fan of "confidence" as the next guy. Really.
But in order for "confidence" to be a factor, it needs to come from ability, not hubris.
Kobe Bryants' "confidence" comes from the fact that he can kick your ass.
Here's hoping that England doesn't have a bulletin board.
While we're on the subject, be sure to catch the promo ESPN is running that features Altidore.
I won't spoil it, but it's absolutely terrific.