In a recent interview, Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers stated that the toughest defender he has gone up against is current Memphis Grizzlies guard, Tony Allen.
Allen is known as one of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA and although he does not excel on the offensive end, he is a difference maker on the court.
After the 112-96 loss, Bryant spoke to the media and he expressed the immense respect he has for Allen and the way he approaches the game, according to Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters:
Kobe on Tony Allen's defense: "He does his homework. He's old school. He'll watch film & he'll know where you're going to go before you go."
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) December 28, 2015
Allen battled Kobe and the Lakers during his time with the Celtics and he helped guide Boston to the title in 2008. Even though the Lakers did get their revenge in 2010, that defense sparked by Allen was no easy task.
Not many players have been able to challenge Kobe in his 20-year career like Allen has. Bryant has gone up against some of the best defenders the league has seen, but it took a lot more energy when facing Tony Allen.
Despite playing with a sore knee, Kobe finished with 19 points in 24 minutes. Although he will attempt to play against the Charlotte Hornets on the second night of a back-to-back, it will likely come down to a game-time decision.