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Former NBA player recalls how was to defend Kobe Bryant

By James Brown

Former NBA player recalls how was to defend Kobe Bryant

Former Rockets player Shane Battier, recalls one time he had to defend Kobe Bryant.

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Kobe Bryant was one of the best players in NBA history. He has the record for the most points in Lakers history. That goes to show you how good a scorer he was during his career. According to former Rockets player Shane Battier, there was nothing you could do to defend him. The former player recalled a story from the 2009 Western Conference Semifinals.

The Semifinals went all the way to the seventh game. Kobe had a bad Game 4 where he only scored 15 points. The Rockets tied the series at two apiece and Shane Battier got the recognition for defending against Kobe. However, 'Mamba' came back the next couple of games and led the team to victory and to a championship.

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"I got a lot of the acclaim for the hand-in-the-face tactic, but people misunderstood why I did that," Battier said during his guest appearance on the Showtime Basketball podcast. “For a guy like Kobe, I knew he would go out of his way to prove that this tactic wouldn't work on him. That was the mental game I played with Kobe, but he [still] made a lot of jumpers.” explained Battier.

Kobe averaged 30.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game during the 2009 playoffs and it has been arguably the best season of his career. During the series against the Rockets, they scored 30 or more points four times, one time getting to the 40 mark.

Kobe Bryant in the playoffs

Kobe Bryant was one of the most successful players in Lakers history. He went to the playoffs in 15 out of his 20 seasons. Kobe Bryant averaged 25.6 points, 5.1 rebounds and 4.7 assists in 220 games in the playoffs in his career. ‘Mamba’ ended up winning the Championship on five occasions, being Finals MVP two times.


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