– Amazing defender
One of the very underrated things about Kobe Bryant was his ability to be one of the best defensive players on the court. While Bryant’s reputation is for being one of the best scorers of all-time, he might be one of the best wing defenders of all-time too.
While Bryant never won a Defensive Player of the Year award, he was one the NBA All-Defensive team 12 times. Only Tim Duncan has been named to more All-Defensive teams in his career, but Bryant was nominated to more first-teams than Duncan in the category.
Bryant is currently tied with Michael Jordan, Kevin Garnett, and Gary Payton for the most All-Defensive first teams. That is certainly some elite company to be compared with and a great indication of how good Bryant was on that end of the court.
Without a doubt, Bryant’s elite ability on the defensive end made him one of the best two-way players of all-time. The old saying is that defense wins championships, and Bryant certainly was a great player on that end.