Vince Carter Names Michael Jordan, Kobe, Iverson as Toughest Players to Guard

Blake SchusterCorrespondent IIIMay 7, 2020

MEMPHIS, TN - FEBRUARY 24:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers plays against Vince Carter #15 of the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum on February 24, 2016 in Memphis, Tennessee. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Anyone who spends 20 years in the NBA will likely share the court with their fair share of legends. 

Vince Carter learned that the hard way.

After breaking into the NBA in 1998, Carter played with and against some of the most iconic figures in league history. While speaking with hip-hop mogul T.I. on his expediTIously Podcast, Carter highlighted three players in particular as the toughest he ever had to defend.

"MJ, Kobe and AI," Carter said. "Hands down."

Aside from the obvious flex of Carter being able to say he played against Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and Allen Iverson, it's tough to disagree with this list.

LeBron James feels like a clear omission here, but Carter wouldn't have routinely guarded James by the time the Lakers star reached his prime. That isn't the case for Jordan, Iverson and Bryant. 

Each player had a multitude of signature moves that were close to perfect. From Kobe's fadeaway jumpers to Jordan's relentlessness and Iverson's crossovers, each provided a unique challenge for defenders.

It didn't help that all three were (temporarily) in the league at the same time, either. 

It bears watching whether retirement gives Carter new perspective. He's exiting the league with James still somehow at the height of his powers, while stars like Kawhi Leonard, Steph Curry and Giannis Antetokounmpo are nipping at his heels.

And there's still a bit more room on Carter's Mount Rushmore of nearly unguardable players. 


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