Former NBA player Gilbert Arenas made a guest appearance on the Fubo Sports podcast, discussing and sharing his view on an exciting topic. Arenas had the opportunity to play against numerous great players in his career, but he always said Kobe Bryant and Allen Iverson are the two best scorers he ever faced. Even though Arenas had tremendous respect for Kobe, he made some valid points on why Iverson was always a bigger problem for him on defense.
According to Arenas, one of Iverson’s main characteristics was his incredible ability to out-hustle everyone on the court. He was swift and used his quickness on both ends of the floor equally well.
I always say Allen was like that white boy player in high-school that played balls hard. He is playing 150 miles per hour the whole time. Him getting a steal here to him saving the ball, jumping four rows to the stands. Somehow he gets out of that and made a layup. That was his hustle.Gilbert Arenas, via Fubo Sports
Apart from a pure desire to substantially impact the game, Iverson had a mentality to score 50 points every time and put tremendous pressure on the defense. Arenas were fascinated by the amount of energy Iverson had on top of all the skillset he possessed.
When you played against Allen, it was one of those things that he is the Red-Bull. Trying to stop him from scoring was a whole issue for itself. He had the green light and had no consciousness; he is trying to score 50 or 60. Matching his energy was what people didn’t understand. You have to match his energy to even compete with him, so he was one of those guys you have to pick up 64 feet and you gotta do all of that.Gilbert Arenas, via Fubo Sports
It was always harder for Arenas to guard Iverson than Kobe because they played in different systems, and their mindset was totally different. Kobe played through the triangle offense while Iverson was a one-man wrecking crew with absolute freedom to do whatever he wanted on offense, which put a lot of pressure on every player who had to guard him.
I would rather guard Kobe than Allen. With Kobe, he is going to go to his spots, and he is playing through the offense. He would get the ball, see if he has a good look, pass it, but Allen, as soon as he got the ball, he wanted to go and try to score. If he didn’t, he would pass the ball, get it back, and then try to score. And don’t have a number 3, and if you wore number 3, he took it personally.Gilbert Arenas, via Fubo Sports