It’s not a secret that Kobe Bryant was one of the most talented and fiercest competitors in NBA history.
The Los Angeles Lakers legend had to work hard to get his respect in the league, becoming a threat for rivals once he got the chance to display his quality on the court. That’s why a lot of people feared going against Bryant.
However, not everybody felt the same about Kobe. Some defenders enjoyed facing one of the best scorers of all time, taking things to the next level trying to stop the 5x NBA champion. One of those was Kenyon Martin, who had a difficult time whenever he went against two of the best players in the 2000s: Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan.
During a recent interview with Gilbert Arenas, Martin explained how hard it was going against these legends but making it clear that facing Kobe was challenging physically and mentally speaking.
“Somebody posted a clip when we played him in the Western Conference Finals. Like he drove up, Stop! Boom! Bop! Boom! I am all over. He fade, I would contest. Point!” he explained.
“It was a chess match with me and him. And that’s why over the years, I am like this is good, really good. Because most guys I can stop your A or B. He is going to go to C and D….Very competitive but it was fun at the same time. It was a mutual respect for one another, and his offensive ability and my ability to guard people.”
It must have been a nightmare trying to stop KB24, but Martin never backed down to the challenge. He embraced it and had a lot of good battles with the Black Mamba.
Kobe will always be remembered as one of the greatest scorers the NBA has seen. The testimony of Martin, Tony Allen, and more only confirm that the man was willing to do anything to beat rivals and win games.