Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles playing against Kobe Bryant is one of the ultimate competitors. Because I tell you what, he might come to the game, right? Sometimes you might come to the game, you might shake your hand and that could be scared. You look at that calendar and you saw the Lakers were coming to town, or you whether you were with Boston or you were with Memphis. We're going to L A to play him at Staples Center. What went through your mind automatically? Well, obviously, you know, you had sweaty palms, obviously, knowing that's gonna be your Santa with me focusing right in instantly, going right to the video director asked him, You know, for film I pretty much narrowed it all the way down to, you know, highly scored and all his fastest of the game. But I always want to study and keep keep the mind for Was the head fake? He always bag, bag, bag them, turn around head, fake hair, fake hair fake And it's that for E. Always jumped right and studying that film, I mean instant. Soon as I knew he was on schedule, I was like I had the tunnel vision and you really studied him to the tea. Then when you were watching these films, Yeah, it was one of those things. Like I got found out in, like, eight minutes before trying to guard Kobe, you know? And I want I want to say this is right around the time you start calling itself the Mamba. Maybe, but all I knew was he has had a play with this seeking destroyed mentality. And it was like that day I was like, Yeah, that had never happened. So I just chose, like and in film. And that's just been my thinking about my career with him specifically, Mama Go e watched more film on him than any person in the region. What was it like? If you could remember recall in game like your level of frustration when you were getting those kind of fouls That what I would say? I was nervous just over hype to play them. Yeah, that's if I could say the police. But, you know, you got Paul Pierce in your ear saying, Yeah, get ready. You stick me every day. You stick me every day. You should be ready. Let's go. Let's Kobe Bryant and I'm taking it in and I'm like, I'm trying to be tough. I'm trying to act like I'm not scared. Like I told you. My palms are sweating, my arms sweating. I ain't ran up the float. And then it's like now I'm sticking them. And then it's like, You know what? You gonna dogo like? Like you know how I did see a copy of the head like Like, that's exactly how it was my first, Like the first time I played Playing against Kobe Bryant is one of the ultimate competitive. Because I tell you what, he might come to the game right? Sometimes you might come to the game, you might shake your hand, and that could be scared you because because he buttered you up there for, you know. Hey, how you doing? That's a three. What's up, baby boy? That's a layup. Watch out, It's a dump. You see what I'm saying? Don't fall for that. Neither do not fall for that is he had a few games where he done me like that and he busts across the head. I like the games when he don't say nothing to me. That means about to be a lot of elbows is about to be a lot of smack hard fouls is gonna be really physical. And you probably think it's a finesses. Kobe is. You don't think he get down there and get grimy and get greedy. This guy here, those elbows, he offensive foul put elbows in your back, my elbow you on your nose or your neck and I'm gonna give you 11 inches. Kobe Bryant goes to the hole and I'm talking about foul pushing me, pushing me, pushing me and they called a family e couldn't believe it because he was fighting like he was getting away with a lot of stuff. You wanna lose my tip? I just I just laid down on the ground. I said, It's about to be a war I knew then I was first team all defense that work at the time and energy that the President Doc was putting in my ear. Paul Pierce trying to gas me up. You just put all that together. That was the reason why I didn't let my head down guarding them like like he might hit 567 in the ropes. So what? So what? He was just the most cocky is confident. I want to say arrogant, but he just knew he was the greatest player like at all times. And I wanted to compete with that that mentality, knowing that I was the best defender. You're a physical defender. There's no question like you watch your game. Everybody knows that you're a very physical defender. Did you get the sense that he enjoyed the physicality? No, I had no idea. This is the greatest player that I haven't played against in the world. I've never thought he'd even acknowledged Kobe Toughest defender for you. Tony Allen is easy e It was only when it wasn't crying. E would have loved to have a sit down with him. You know, we laugh and joke about him winning and 10 us winning in a. But for him to acknowledge that, I just didn't know where th he was talking about, you know, because I want to get more in depth and probably build a friendship or whatever more so than anything. And, uh, I wanted Thio emulate that same that same kind of academy on the defensive side and then I looked back. We look at those competitors. Way got, let's say Kobe and ta Yeah, that was one of the watchman. Look at the records. Would you say that he was the toughest shotmaker that you ever saw play the game? Most definitely one that just popped in my mind. I hate to throw Hall of Fame flash out there, but remember Kobe Bryant, that three at the buzzer, it off the glass for the game That just goes to show you he his degree of difficulty. You said you and him didn't go back and forth very much on talking. But I would imagine that at some point in all the years you played, you saw him go at one of your teammates. You know, John back and forth, which is the one that sticks out the most that you just laugh when you think about him. John with one of your teammates. I used to always see him. Paul, you know, bigger at each other, you know, But for the most part, man, I didn't really see Kobe talked too much, man because he was all about business. It was like he was ready to get this this moment. No way he could do that little moment right there's like there's nothing else to talk about. That's when it's time for him to start saying way, all playing that we all play them off. Thanks for watching ESPN on YouTube for live streaming sports and premium content. Subscribe to ESPN plus.