MANILA, Philippines—Rondae Hollis-Jefferson has been making rounds on social media for his resemblance to the late great Kobe Bryant—from his posture, and fadeaways to the No. 24 jersey.
The only stark difference: Hollis-Jefferson shoots left-handed.
Hollis-Jefferson on Monday channeled his Mamba Mentality and almost willed Jordan to an upset of New Zealand in overtime in the Fiba World Cup before a loud crowd at Mall of Asia Arena predominantly rooting for the former PBA import.
Chants of “Kobe” rained down on Hollis-Jefferson, who scored the most points in this World Cup so far with 39 points in the 95-87 loss, eclipsing the 37 points by Slovenia’s Luka Doncic two days ago.
— FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 🏆 (@FIBAWC) August 28, 2023
“It means a lot. It’s an honor. There’s only one Kobe but to feel that love and that energy coming down the stretch hitting those big shots, God was with me, Kobe was with me for sure,” Hollis-Jefferson said on the Kobe comparisons he’s been getting since making his World Cup debut as Jordan’s naturalized player.
And there was nothing more Kobe-like than his four-point play in the final seconds of regulation that forced extra time.
“I just wanted to win. Everything said shoot it, everything said shoot it. so that’s what I did.”
That’s what Kobe would’ve done too.
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