In his interview with TNT's Ernie Johnson, Kobe Bryant sized up a few of the players he competed against during his nearly two decades in the NBA. He shouted out some predictable names, while also surprising some by naming Tony Allen as the guy that gave him the most trouble defensively. When the conversation turned to competitiveness -- which has to be, when all's said and done, Kobe Bryant's defining characteristic -- he pulled out three names. He called out the relentless duo known to history as Jordan-Pippen, winners of six championships together, perennial presences on NBA all-defensive teams and legendary competitors sin qua non.
But while n the subject of the greatest competitors he faced, Kobe also named a guy who never won a championship and who was almost always the smallest guy in the huddle: Allen Iverson, the baddest-ass baller of the late 90s and early 2000s, an 11x All-Star and NBA MVP in 2001 -- a competitor as fierce as any ever laced 'em up. Kobe even put Iverson above Pippen, in a class with Michael Jordan alone, saying Iverson "always put you in jeopardy."
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