Kobe Bryant is known as one of the greatest offensive talents of all time. That said, for at least half of his career, he was also an incredibly tenacious defender.
Those nine NBA All-Defensive First Team nods didn’t come by accident.
As such, Bryant always had a really unique perspective on who the toughest players to guard in the league were.
During an interview, Bryant broke down who those guys were by era.
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“I can go by eras, actually,” Bryant said.
“So Allen Iverson was just really — I mean, he was… He was a lot to deal with. There was a game where he dropped 44 on me in Philadelphia.
“There was a game in New Jersey where [Stephon] Marbury dropped 50 on me. There was a game [Gilbert] Arenas had 60. Carmelo Anthony is always tough for me to deal with. You know, [Kevin] Durant’s always tough to deal with.”
The player that gave Bryant the most trouble, though?
“There’s a lot of guys but the guy that always gave me the most problems, actually was Tracy McGrady,” Bryant confessed.
“He had all the skills and all the athleticism, but he was 6’9″ and he was really tough to figure out.”
Bryant’s mind for the game of basketball was unmatched. That’s what made all his interviews so fascinating.
Whether he was breaking down the two things he loved to do more than scoring, the one condition under which he’d ever agree to party with his teammates or who would win a one-on-one between him and LeBron James – he was a fountain of interesting details.
The 2 best women’s basketball players in the world celebrated their birthday. https://t.co/1ghNseX0RF
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 26, 2023
This was no exception.
Hopefully as the years progress, more and more of Bryant’s interviews will come under the spotlight. NBA fans can stand to learn a lot from his brilliant hoops mind.