Kobe Bryant gave away a pair of his Nike Kobe 11 to a gritty forward who he calls as his ‘best defender’ against the Boston Celtics.
Los Angeles Lakers forward Kobe Bryant has had his fair share of tough defenders on his way to cementing his legendary status among the NBA’s greatest players.
During his 20-year NBA career, Bryant had faced four different generations of players – from the likes of Michael Jordan in his rookie year, to today’s young studs in the form of up-and-coming forward Andrew Wiggins.
If Michael Jordan had the Detroit ‘Bad Boys’ Pistons hounding him before winning his string of NBA titles, it was then-Boston Celtics forward Tony Allen who made his life miserable during their two NBA Finals meetings in 2008 and 2010.
While Allen and the Celtics won the first meeting, it was Kobe Bryant and the Lakers that had the last laugh with a Game 7 win in the 2010 classic series.
Despite the Lakers getting the best of both the Boston Celtics and Memphis Grizzlies in the better part of the last decade, it was Tony Allen and his sticky defense that made it hard for The Black Mamba to earn his points.
Now, nearly seven years removed from their last meeting in the Finals, Tony Allen – now of the Memphis Grizzlies – got the due credit for his stingy defense from Bryant himself as he received a game-used autographed pair of Nike Kobe 11s worn during the Lakers’ 95-112 loss.
Tony Allen joins the likes of Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, and LeBron James to have received a pair of game-used and signed sneakers from Bryant himself.
This season has been a nostalgia tour for the 37-year old Bryant, as he has been showered with tributes and presents from every NBA stop he has made since announcing his retirement from the game after the 2015-16 season.