Over the years, Kobe Bryant has embarrassed dozens of people who have tried to guard him. He had counters to anything that the defense could throw on him. Playing against an elite scorer is hard for any defender, but Kobe Bryant was one of the people that really made his opponent work. Playing against a superstar is always difficult, but Kobe Bryant was in a separate universe during his time in the league.
Recently, Jorge Sedano reached out to players who guarded Kobe Bryant during his time in the league. Jorge Sedano’s article talks about those players’ experiences. The players commented on how much of a futile effort it was to guard Kobe Bryant.
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“When you saw him on the calendar,” Allen said, “you know you had sweaty palms.”
“Everyone in my family or my friends knew, don’t mess with me the day before or the day of a Kobe game,” Battier said. “You never knew if this was the night where he decided, ‘You know what? I’m going to embarrass the guy guarding me’ — which I think he tried to do a lot.”
Jalen Rose has heard all the jokes about the 81 points. He even made a commercial about it. But ask him and he’ll tell you that the Raptors were actually successful that day.
“When people try to tease me, I say, ‘We held him under a hundred,'” Rose said with a laugh.
Most of the defenders talk about how ridiculous Kobe Bryant was on the court. People were nervous to guard Kobe Bryant: that’s how you know Bryant’s scoring was on another level. Jalen Rose’s quote perhaps sums it up best: he’s happy that the Raptors held Bryant to less than 100 points. That is how unstoppable Kobe Bryant was with the ball, to the point where he made the ridiculous seem easy. Kobe Bryant was unstoppable on the offensive end: there was no defender that could contain the Lakers’ legend.