In his 20-year-long career, Kobe Bryant has faced a lot of great defensive players even though he is one of the best pure scorers in NBA history.
It was often debated who is the best defender Kobe faced during his long and illustrious career and Kobe himself gives a lot of credit to the one-and-only Tony Allen.
That might sound like a surprise to some but Allen faced off vs Kobe Bryant on numerous occasions and often gave Bryant a hard time.
In a recent interview, Kobe gave a lot of compliment to Allen, but he couldn't help himself but sound cocky a bit. The reason why he decided to chose Allen was that "he was the only one that wasn't crying for help."
Bryant even presented Allen with a gift, which Allen later shared on Twitter. The autograph reads: "To Tony, the best defender I ever faced!"
According to stats provided by Basketball-Reference, Bryant has averaged 25.7 points on 42.1% shooting in 23 regular season games against Allen. In the playoffs, they've faced off 10 times, and Bryant has averaged 26.4 points on 38.7% shooting in those matchups.
Allen was without a doubt a great defensive player and was an important part of the Boston Celtics success from 2008 up until 2010. He continued being a dominant force on the defensive end while playing for the Grizzlies in 2010 and even finished fourth in voting for the Defensive Player of the Year.