Skip to content

Kobe says Carmelo is hardest player for him to guard

Dec 13, 2012, 11:18 AM EDT

New York Knicks v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

Kobe Bryant leads his struggling Lakers into Madison Square Garden Thursday night to take on a Knicks team that is 8-0 at home and led by Carmelo Anthony, a guy playing like an MVP candidate.

As part of the hype machine for that game, Kobe sat down for an interview with ESPN (Stephen A. Smith to be exact) that the network played plenty on Wednesday. Among the things discussed in that interview was the hardest player for Bryant to guard in the NBA.

His answer was Anthony, reports the New York Post.

The Lakers star said Anthony, the Knicks’ MVP candidate, is the “most difficult” guy for him to guard in the league, even harder than LeBron James, he told ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith on Tuesday.

“For me?” Bryant said. “Yeah….”

“I’m [180 pounds] soaking wet,” said Bryant, who is Melo’s teammate on Team USA. “Going up against that bull, it’s fun, but it’s hard.”

That kind of matchup, Carmelo on Bryant, is why Anthony at the four is such a matchup nightmare — if Carmelo has Kobe on him he can take Bryant down into the post with Amare Stoudemire not there and back Kobe down, where ‘Melo has the size and strength advantage, then he can spin and take short fade-aways over either shoulder. If Stoudemire is in the post and Anthony is out on the wing trying to use his quickness on Kobe, then Kobe can hang with him and contest everything.

The Lakers likely go with Metta World Peace — a bull himself — on ‘Melo, but he is going to need help from Dwight Howard and others.

And if the Lakers defensive rotations look anything like they did in the first half of the Cleveland game, Anthony is not going to put up monster fourth quarter numbers because he’ll be sitting on the bench resting as the Knicks bench closes out a blowout win.

  1. lmoneyfresh - Dec 13, 2012 at 11:46 AM

    Lakers are gonna get housed tonight.

    • dvsmik3 - Dec 13, 2012 at 5:50 PM

      What exactly do you mean by “housed”? Did you mean “hosed”? In that same train of throught, lakers are going to get waterfelled.

  2. zblott - Dec 13, 2012 at 11:55 AM

    How often is Kobe guarding Carmelo or LeBron? That’s why the Lakers are willing to roll the dice on World Peace, because Kobe doesn’t guard good scoring wings, especially ones his size or bigger.

    • skids003 - Dec 13, 2012 at 12:51 PM

      The great Kobe guards no one.

      • florida727 - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:01 PM

        What a piss poor attempt at getting into Anthony’s head. Kobe, is that really the best you’ve got? Can’t wait until the next time LeBron sees you.

    • eventhorizon04 - Dec 13, 2012 at 5:15 PM

      Yeah, Metta World Peace has consistently guarded the opposing team’s best wing player for a couple of years now.

      I’m not trashing Kobe – it’s actually a really smart strategy to devote MWP to defense (his best skill), while giving Kobe an easier assignment on that end since they’re making Kobe play huge minutes at age 34 and run the offense with Nash out.

      But yeah – I wouldn’t expect to see Kobe on ‘Melo (especially if ‘Melo is playing at the 4) much at all.

  3. themagicfanguy - Dec 13, 2012 at 12:09 PM

    MWP is the only one on that team that can guard Melo for any length of time, and even then he won’t be able to contain him for long. Lakers have to hope that MWP and Dwight can rotate properly and combo him in the post, otherwise they are screwed.

  4. ebrownwareagle - Dec 13, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    Do y’all realize this guy has been in the League for 17 SEASONS, twice the amount of time as all these guys he’s competing against. And still able to bring it at a high level night in night out. Melo,Lebron,KD, etc… It would be hard for him to guard these dudes for an entire game; the SAME rule applies for them guarding him.

  5. sprest83 - Dec 13, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    180lbs soaking wet?…Maybe Kobe’s scale is broken.

  6. abchome - Dec 13, 2012 at 1:12 PM

    When the Lakers played the Nuggets in 2009 west conference final Kobe guarded Melo in long stretches and quiped he was westling with a bear.

  7. paulhargis53 - Dec 13, 2012 at 1:19 PM

    Kobe hasn’t “guarded” anyone in about 9 years. He’s matched up with someone because its a 5 on 5 game. But to say he’s guarding someone is laughable.

    • fanofevilempire - Dec 13, 2012 at 2:50 PM

      you should worry about the Celtics, cause Melo will have a ball with those OLD mfers.

  8. LPad - Dec 13, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    “That kind of matchup, Carmelo on Bryant, is why Anthony at the four is such a matchup nightmare — if Carmelo has Kobe on him he can take Bryant down into the post with Amare Stoudemire not there and back Kobe down, where ‘Melo has the size and strength advantage, then he can spin and take short fade-aways over either shoulder. If Stoudemire is in the post and Anthony is out on the wing trying to use his quickness on Kobe, then Kobe can hang with him and contest everything. ”

    Following this logic, you would think it would literally be impossible for a 2 or 3 to venture into the post with a 4 and 5 on the court. Despite the fact, it occurs on a nightly basis and has since almost literally the beginning of basketball.

  9. lemfaxx - Dec 13, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    Yeah you are right kobe. Only lebron can guard melo

    • dmv21 - Dec 13, 2012 at 2:11 PM

      No one can guard Melo or Durant period that’s why the G.O.A.T (Kobe) respects them

  10. dmv21 - Dec 13, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    Love Melo and I always said He was the hardest cover for Kobe but to think Melo is going to come out and score 40 with MWP bearing down on him all night is laughable!! Lakers win easy this is a good matchup for us because the Knicks don’t have anyone to penetrate the lane Ray Felts good but not good enough

  11. fanofevilempire - Dec 13, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    no body can guard Melo this year………….

    like Kidd said ” we practice the double team and he passes out to the shooters”………………
    bam……………….

    chicks dig the 3 ball………………………

    somebody tell Jay Z, the Barcleys Center is under new management………..

  12. jerdogthompson - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:09 PM

    My,my,my.

    How long before the headline reads”Lakers mathematically eliminated”?

    I’m freaking tired of reading all about the Laker team and their troubles. Get with some relevant NBA stories already. Lakers are washed up has beens, start dusting off those trophies ladies cause those are last ones you will see for the next decade or so.

    • bozosforall - Dec 13, 2012 at 10:33 PM

      More recent trophies than your pathetic team, jizzdumpthompson.

  13. eflem80 - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    Kobe hasn’t guarded anyone in years….most overrated defensive player in the league. Allen Houston dropped 50 on him for g

    • musician0785 - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:32 PM

      Kobe was guarding Sprewell, Rick Fox was guarding Allan Houston, get your facts straight

      • musician0785 - Dec 13, 2012 at 4:02 PM

        http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1uo9x_allan-houston-career-high-53-points_sport

  14. musician0785 - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    Funny how no one remembers when there was no World Peace on the lakers, and kobe had ZERO defensive perimeter help and he had to guard the other team’s best player AND score 30 for the lakers to win…Ive personally watched him guard Lebron, Melo, D Wade, The Orlando version of Tracy Mcgardy, Vince Carer, paul pierce, Ray allen….so all yall can hit the bricks with that Kobe cant guard anybody argument….

    • eventhorizon04 - Dec 13, 2012 at 5:19 PM

      ….If you’re saying Kobe played defense against the best opposing wing player a few years ago, then you’re right.

      People are talking about Kobe the past couple of years, in which he’s somehow been named to the All-Defensive First-Team despite never being matched up against the best opposing player on defense.

  15. eflem80 - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    Kobe hasn’t guarded anyone in years. Gets credit as being a good defender every year yet at least once a year another guard would burn him for 40. Allen Houston dropped 50 on him for gods sake!

    • musician0785 - Dec 13, 2012 at 4:03 PM

      http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1uo9x_allan-houston-career-high-53-points_sport

    • musician0785 - Dec 13, 2012 at 4:04 PM

      yea that NEVER happens to EVERY great player against anotehr great player….wtf r u talking about

      • musician0785 - Dec 13, 2012 at 4:04 PM

        yea that NEVER happens to EVERY great player against another great player….wtf r u talking about*

    • fanofevilempire - Dec 13, 2012 at 5:33 PM

      Kobe has been playing for 17 Years, cut the guy a break…………..

      bunch of haters

  16. eflem80 - Dec 13, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    No great offensive player has EVER been bothered by Kobe’s “defense”…..EVER. Unlike MJ & LBJ…they try to put him in that class defensively…but the #’s don’t lie…..he stay getting scorched.

  17. donaldledford2012 - Dec 13, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    “LeBron is the only 1 that can guard Melo.” Dude seriously? Do you even watch basketball? Melo torches LeBron on a regular basis!

  18. fanofevilempire - Dec 13, 2012 at 5:31 PM

    Kobe can say whatever he wants to say, and he can repeat himself five times for all I care…..

    Kobe made a lot of people POOP in their BIG BOY PANTS…………………………

    OH BOY!!

  19. mazblast - Dec 14, 2012 at 12:17 AM

    It looks like neither Kobe nor anyone else on the Almighty Lakers guarded Carmelo tonight. The only thing that stopped him was his own ankle.

    I can’t stand ‘Melo or the Knicks, but I have to give them props for how they’ve started the season. Very impressive.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Featured video

Will LeBron get booed Christmas Day in Miami?
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. K. Love (3769)
  2. D. Rose (3738)
  3. T. Young (2662)
  4. L. James (2608)
  5. K. Bryant (2579)
  1. K. Irving (2512)
  2. E. Bledsoe (2056)
  3. G. Hayward (2047)
  4. A. Davis (1939)
  5. R. Allen (1829)