Now that he’s retired, he can speak the truth.
In an interview with Bleacher Report to promote the return of “Inside Stuff”, Grant Hill revealed that while he didn’t mind guarding guys like LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant was the one player who truly used to give him “problems”:
[pullquote]Toughest player to guard: “Now that I’m retired, I can probably say now that I don’t have to see him anymore is Kobe (Bryant). I felt like I played him well, and I felt like I made him work. But I’d go out there and he’d still hit some crazy shots on me. I would’ve liked to go against him when I was younger, and I had some moments when I was in Detroit. Even in recent years, he was tough.
“It was hard to really have a game plan for him because he really didn’t have a whole lot of weaknesses. He could go either way, he could go over each shoulder in the post, he could catch and shoot, he could go off the dribble. A lot of guys have a game plan to try to stick to, and certain guys have tendencies—they prefer going over this shoulder or prefer going right or left—but with Kobe, it was hard to figure him out. I tried to give him a bunch of different looks.”
Thought of a Hill-Bryant segment on Inside Stuff: “Oh yeah. I’d love to sit down with him on the court and maybe even watch some of the plays where I was guarding him and kind of pick his brain. I always felt he was the hardest to guard. Shoot, I want to know what he’s thinking in certain situations and where he’s trying to get to. He was a competitor. It’s hard to say that and acknowledge that. I didn’t mind guarding LeBron and Melo and KD, but Kobe used to give me a lot of problems.”[/pullquote]
Of course, this is not the first time that we have heard something of this nature, but it’s still interesting to hear how hard Bryant makes it for defenders on a nightly basis.
Due to Kobe’s fundamentals and high basketball IQ, he’s able to out-smart his opponent in most situations and always has a counter move up his sleeve – he’s even been known to shoot left-handed when needed in the past.
Hopefully, it won’t be too long before we see Kobe out there giving defenders nightmares once again.