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Why Hall of Famer Tracy McGrady Puts Kobe Bryant Ahead of Lebron James on This Exclusive List

Published 04/15/2022, 11:40 PM EDT

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There have been some elite scorers in the NBA through the course of history. While some make their mark for a couple of years, there are a few who solidify themselves as the best. One such player was Lakers legend, Kobe Bryant. The Hall of Famer knew how to get his shot and rack point on the board. Recently, another great scorer gave the Mamba his props and said he is the best one-on-one player.

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Tracy McGrady and Kobe Bryant were friends from a very young age. Before getting to the NBA, the two would hang out with each other all the time, as they had the same dream. In addition, the two NBA legends even made their marks as some of the best offensive weapons in the history of the game. While McGrady faced off against many elite scorers, he feels no one beats Kobe one on one.

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Recently, while making an appearance on a podcast, McGrady named Kobe as the top one-on-one player in the NBA.


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Tracy McGrady says Kobe Bryant was the best

As one of the elite scorers himself, T-Mac was a legendary isolation player. In fact, he even had Kobe Bryant drop and hit a fadeaway over him during his days with the Magic. Hence, it came as a surprise when he said Kobe is the best player in that category. McGrady did name a few others, such as Allen Iverson and Jamal Crawford. However, for him, no one tops the Mamba on that list.


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Tracy McGrady said: “Kobe is definitely at the top of that list. I could go with a handful of guys that are great one-on-one players. Baron Davis. Cuttino Mobley. Lou Williams. Jamal Crawford. These are one-on-one certified killers. Allen Iverson. That’s what these guys do. But definitely, Kobe is at the top of that list.”


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The Mamba was lethal during his prime. He had defenders in knots at the mere sight of a basketball in his hands. In addition, Bryant was not afraid to go right at the best defenders in the league. With his ability to make the tough shots, it was hard for any elite defender to stop the Mamba with no help. And when not defended well, Bryant would make the opposition pay. Notably, he exploded for record 81 points when given complete freedom, falling behind just Wilt Chamberlain’s tally of 100 points.


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Being a fierce competitor as well, Bryant would often challenge his teammates to take him on. But the results never varied. The Mamba always came out victorious, and that’s what makes him one of the all-time greats in the game of basketball. As a player who gave it his all, Kobe Bryant worked his way to become the best.

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Written by:

Anuj Talwalkar


One take at a time

Anuj Talwalkar is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He is a student studying at NM College in Mumbai, aspiring to pursue sports management to follow his love for sports. Anuj started following the NBA last year, and he loves to combine his passion for writing with his understanding of basketball.
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Edited by:

Ajinkya Aswale