Kenny Smith Disagrees With Kobe, Says Jordan Was Toughest To Guard

Kenny Smith Disagrees With Kobe, Says Jordan Was Toughest To Guard

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

During Kobe Bryant’s interview with Jimmy Kimmel, the five-time NBA champion was asked which players in the NBA were the toughest to guard. Kobe named a few of the usual suspects like Allen Iverson, Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant, but then said something that surprised a lot of people.

According to Kobe, the toughest player to guard during his time in the league was Tracy McGrady. Although Kobe modeled his game from Michael Jordan and has received comparisons to arguably the greatest player of all-time throughout his entire career, McGrady challenged the future Hall of Famer more than Jordan did.

With Kobe saying that McGrady posed the toughest challenge and not Jordan, a lot of people have chimed in including McGrady. Even though McGrady also said Kobe was the toughest to guard, current NBA analyst and former player Kenny Smith disagrees via TMZ:


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  • Paytc

    I respect both Kenny Smith and MJ,but Kobe probably knows who gave him the most trouble perhaps it was the age difference or number of times Kobe had to guard Mike one on one?
    Mike being a bit older could have been a few years past his prime in many times he may have matched up with Kobe?In all fairness neither I or Kenny Smith can speak on why Kobe may have felt that way or made the comment?Perhaps it was a slip-up ?Or perhaps T-Mac was just hard to deal with in his prime?People always put so much on how great Jordan was,and he was.But our creator didn’t start creating great players with Mike and he hasn’t ended with Mike.

    That’s why I loved Iverson because he was quick to hit MJ with a crossover and pull up a j right in his face.Great players are to be respected but not feared.Mike may have had 98% of players in awe (Kenny Smith included)but there was a small % who just played their game around Mike and that probably made it easier to deal with him.MJ had to worry about a few great players at times himself.

  • ra

    OK, ‘logically’, how can Kenny Smith disagree on the fact that Kobe said that “he (Kobe) found that Tracy McGrady was the hardest to guard in his time”.

    That’s like disagreeing if Kobe were to say, “I like how this pizza tastes”. How can you disagree with a statement on your experience and how you feel about it ?????

    If Kobe were to say, ‘Tracy McGrady is the most difficult person in NBA history for anyone to guard, period’, then someone could ‘disagree’ with that.

    Kenny should disagree about the ability to disagree with how someone feels about something. Then he might disagree with himself, and therefore he would be agreeing with himself, which cancels out the disagreement.

  • richard

    I think Kenny is off in this one… Kobe was asked who was the toughest he guarded.. and he said that in his time… which implies that among his contemporary, TMAC was the hardest to cover… MJ is not Kobe’s contemporary… MJ was way into his career when Kobe came into his own.

    • Paytc

      Hey I understand it…. the guy has to keep a job.Just look at the reaction he got from all of us.
      Barkley does the same thing as does many others working in the sleazy at times media.
      Kenny usually has maintained a high level of professionalism.He is still maintaining dignity in this case.But I’m sure he knew he’d grab some attention :) As I said below in so many words,know one can speak on the intentions and thoughts behind anthers persons words.

      Part two is needed. So unless Kobe responds everything is speculation at best.

      • Paytc

        Please pardon my late night spelling errors.I did type the word another correctly,but it was spell-checked and written as “anthers” without my noticing it.

  • alegacy a

    It doesn’t matter what Kenny thinks if Kobe said Raja Bell was the toughest to guard for him then that’s what it is. Everybody is so quick to throw MJ name in the convo. Kobe explained why he said Tmac and was his personal reasons it had nothing to do with legacy

    • richard

      agree… I am not sure why Kenny Smith would react the way he did and said something that drag the name of MJ into what Kobe said. It seems as if there is something unspoken rule among them about MJ.. well, I can’t blame them on one hand.. they were contemporary with MJ.. but on the other hand… it was a surprise for me to hear what he said about it.

      • Eddie Lazaro

        As usual, sports writers and broadcasters will throw something in the mix to get attentions and ratings. That’s how TV and news nowadays work, it is no longer about the facts, but more of comparisons and assumptions, specially in Kobe’s case. His words and actions, in and out of the game of basketball has been magnified ever since. His news will always be linked to MJ.

  • Kristoffer

    Excuse me, why are you disagreeing in his opinion? What, Kenny is Kobe now? No one knows better than yourself.