Kobe Bryant was one of the best all-around players in NBA history.
Although his offensive arsenal is what everyone came to know and love him for as his career progressed, for the entire first half of his run in the league he was as potent a two-way player as anyone had ever seen.
Given how good Bryant was on the defensive end, many often wondered: which offensive player gave him the most trouble?
An answer to that question came in 2018, when the Los Angeles Lakers legend sat down for an interview on Barstool’s The Corp podcast with Alex Rodriguez and Dan ‘Big Cat’ Katz.
It was a little surprising.
“Kevin Durant,” he said.
“That was the one that I retired without really being able to figure out what it is– how I can stop him. When he first came into the league, he was easy to defend because he couldn’t go right and shoot. He shot kinda across his face so that was a weakness that he had.
“Also, in the post, he couldn’t turn left shoulder, everything was right shoulder so that gave me areas that I could shut off. Right then, he started developing so I developed it and now he can pull up left, he can pull upright, he can shoot the long ball, he has runners, left hand, right hand.
“Before he had a left-hand finish at the rim, I could always send him left, force him all the way to the basket, even with the advantages of besides, he was still uncomfortable finishing with his left so I could clamp the right hand, and now forced him into a tough situation. But now he’s developed that so I retired not being able to figure him out.”
Bryant was one of the greatest minds in basketball history, so any time he weighed in on anything hoops-related, it was special. His general knowledge and the fanhood he inspired is one of the reasons why some took it so personally when someone tried to insult him in the streets of LA. And why his incredible philosophy on missing shots continues to go viral. And why players tell stories about him to this day.
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