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Gilbert Arenas jokes of being fortunate not having to guard Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady

Gilbert Arenas, Tracy McGrady, Kobe Bryant

Gilbert Arenas looked back on his illustrious NBA career and joked that he was fortunate for not having to guard Kobe Bryant and Tracy McGrady.

In an interview with Dallas Texas-based NBA scribe Landon Buford, Arenas looked back on not having to guard McGrady and Bryant, players who are considered two of the most potent scorers the league has ever seen. After all, Arenas played the point guard spot while McGrady and Bryant played either the shooting guard or small forward position.

“The best part about this one is none because I didn’t have to guard them. So, being that I didn’t have to guard them I didn’t have to worry about the defensive responsibilities of trying to stop them.”

Arenas looked back on McGrady — particularly the former Orlando Magic superstar’s 62-point explosion against the Washington Wizards on March 10, 2004.

“I was a part of the team that Tracy McGrady scored 60 on. It was my first year in Washington and it was phenomenal, and he should’ve had 70 that night. He was just missing free-throws, 13 to be exact, which would’ve given him 70 plus if, he made them all.”

On Bryant, Gilbert Arenas observed how the Los Angeles Lakers legend upped the ante when Shaquille O’Neal left. Back then, it was easy to say that McGrady was the better player. But when Bryant was left all alone to lead the purple and gold, he turned it up a notch.

“Kobe Bryant was a whole different animal. When they were younger, it was hard to distinguish because they were both giving it their all. You could see that Kobe was a little bit less of the edge because he had Shaq putting up similar numbers, while T-Mac was doing it by himself. So, you said Kobe would be the harder player to stop, and when Shaq left, we were able to see it.”

It’s always good to hear former NBA players talk about their contemporaries in a good light. On the floor, they sometimes seem to hate each others’ guts with the way they compete. But at the end of it all, they have tremendous respect for one another — just the way as it should be.