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Tracy McGrady: Kobe was toughest he ever had to guard

Aug 22, 2013, 11:08 AM EDT

Kobe Bryant Tracy McGrady Getty Images

A few days ago had his public charity event, Kobe Bryant said the most difficult player for him to guard was Tracy McGrady.

Now McGrady is throwing some love back at Kobe. TMZ camera crews were hanging around LAX (as they do) and caught McGrady getting on a flight and asked him about his toughest to guard.

“It’s Kobe, all day…. Absolutely, ain’t nobody close.”

McGrady says he didn’t play against prime Michael Jordan, although his rookie year was the last of Jordan’s Bulls championship teams so there was a little crossover. But peak McGrady didn’t face peak Jordan. Kind of the same thing with LeBron James — they crossed paths, most recently in the NBA Finals last season, but peak McGrady says he never really faced peak LeBron.

So he goes with Kobe. This feels a little like the book publishing trick of having authors glowingly praise each others books on jacket-cover blurbs (they trade praise all the time). That can come off as hollow.

But Kobe is his call. A lot of you with disagree with it, but it’s his opinion.

McGrady has still not landed an NBA job for next season.

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