Doc Rivers Reveals How Ray Allen Gave Kobe Bryant a Run for His Money

Published 02/05/2021, 3:30 PM EST
5 March 2010: Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (24) shoots a free throw against the Charlotte Bobcats during an NBA basketball game at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina on March 5, 2010. (Photo by Chris Keane/Icon SMI/Icon Sport Media via Getty Images)


Even someone who isn’t an avid NBA fan is aware of how deeply embedded the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics rivalry was. These were, and are, two of the most storied franchises. Even though there isn’t as much tension between the two now, back then, it was all that fans looked forward to. A Lakers-Celtics matchup.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Doc Rivers, who was the Celtics coach when the two teams met twice in the NBA Finals, still remembers what it was like playing against someone like Kobe Bryant.

The perfect competitor for Kobe Bryant: Ray Allen

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

On ‘All The Smoke’, Matt Barnes asked Doc’s experience facing the Lakers legend. “He was the perfect opponent,” started off Rivers. “You knew if you didn’t bring it, he won. And so it just made you prepare it made you get ready.”

He explained, “You had to have the mental toughness to play against any game that Kobe was in. And you had to sustain his greatness and be okay with it.” However, there is one player Rivers thinks could defend Kobe Bryant with ease, and that was Ray Allen.

“Ray didn’t get enough credit. Ray had no issues guarding Kobe. Whether Kobe played well or not, the next day Ray showed up and was ready again,” said Rivers. “If you don’t watch it in your series with a Kobe Bryant and a Michael Jordan, or LeBron. They’re playing so well. It takes your goodness away. Right? You know, and then you don’t play well anymore.”

Boston Celtics vs Los Angeles Lakers

Both Kobe and Ray entered the league in the 1996 draft and left their mark. The two have played against each other plenty of times. Not just team rivalry, they had rivalries on individual levels too.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

They faced each other in the Finals twice, in which Allen’s Celtics beat them first in 2008, but Kobe took his revenge as the Lakers beat them in 2010. In fact, Allen even confirmed years later how the two disliked each other.

Although, the two only improved their game trying to one-up each other. Not only did this feud entertain the NBA for so many years, it etched itself as one of the greatest too.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Read also- “She Came to Watch Me Play for the First Time”: When Kobe Bryant Scored a Whopping 81 Points to Impress His Grandma

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Yashima Bhatia

1206 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT