Shoeless Tunisian Basketball Player Gets Kobe Bryant’s Autograph
When the Dream Team arrived in Barcelona in 1992, they were stars. Not just to the fans, but to their opponents themselves, who would use their opportunity to play and lose against the greatest basketball players in the world to score an autograph from the competitors, who to them were more demigod than human. The global playing field has been leveled quite a bit since, but that still couldn't stop Tunisian basketball player Mohamed Hadidane from getting Kobe's John Hancock after a 110-63 rout at the hands of the U.S. powerhouse.UPDATE: Video taken down. Here's a gif (via SB Nation) instead:
We'll never know who would win a game between the 2012 U.S. team and the 1992 Dream Team, but clearly the celebrity status of American basketball stars on the world stage is alive and well.And you've just gotta love what Hadidane did here. Like a starstruck fan who forgot a hat or jersey at home and needed to scramble for the first surface he could find where marker wouldn't wash off in the laundry, the guy gave Kobe his game-worn sneaker to sign. Now that's just sheer adoration.Better yet, it was all smiles for Kobe and Hadidane, and why not? Hadidane actually dropped 11 points on the U.S. — which doesn't seem like a lot but accounted for almost one-sixth of his country's point total and is enough to gain some semblance of respect against the Americans. You could just tell he appreciated the opportunity to play against the world's best at all, and was making the most of his time at the Olympics.Enjoy your souvenir Mohamed, and don't wash that shoe.[CBS Sports, photo: SB Nation]
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