San Antonio Spurs legend Tim Duncan is a man of few words. But on Friday, ahead of his Hall of Fame enshrinement, he couldn’t help but say a lot about the greatness of Los Angeles Lakers icon Kobe Bryant.

Duncan reflected on his battles with Kobe and revealed how the late Lakers great brought out the best in him. As Duncan shared, you always had to be prepared when going up against the Mamba.

Kobe Bryant was known for his Mamba Mentality and all-out attitude. He did not accept mediocrity in any aspect, and so he had always been a tough opponent throughout his career. That was obviously still vivid in Tim Duncan’s memories thanks to his many showdowns with Bryant throughout the years.

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The two had several great battles in the Western Conference. Kobe and Duncan certainly didn’t hold back whenever they played each other. According to Land of Basketball, the two had faced off 82 times in the regular season and playoffs throughout their respective NBA careers. Timmy has the advantage in the overall record at 43-39, but it is worth noting that Kobe had more playoff wins in their matchups at 18-12.

It would have been awesome to see the former rivals appear together in their Hall of Fame enshrinement and remember all the battles they had. Unfortunately, the Lakers great’s tragic passing last year denied us of such a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

While Kobe is gone, one thing is for sure: his legacy will be forever remembered not just by Lakers fans, but by all the opponents he had faced throughout his 20 years in the league.