In the latest column for Derek Jeter’s new media venture, “The Players’ Tribune,” Paul Pierce writes about the toughest players he has ever guarded and while the names on the list won’t surprise many, the one at the top might.
The list of five players Pierce calls the toughest ever to defend, includes LeBron James (“His style of play just wears you out over the course of a game.”), Vince Carter (“He’s hell to guard out on the perimeter because of the elevation on his shot. But you were so afraid of him blowing by you and throwing down a dunk that would be all over SportsCenter that you would allow him space to shoot.”), Tracy McGrady (“He’s 6-9, has long arms and can jump out of the gym, so every time he went up to shoot there was no point even trying to block it.”), and Kobe Bryant (“by taking that many shots, he’s meticulously wearing down the defender until he breaks them. He’s made a career out of making guys lose confidence in their defence and then continuing to attack them.”)
But the one guy that has been more difficult to guard than any of those players for Paul Pierce has been Carmelo Anthony.
Pierce’s biggest complaint about guarding ‘Melo is that there are no holes in his game, noting that Kobe can be defended down low and LeBron can sometimes be stopped by making him take jumpshots.
The same can’t be said about guarding Anthony.
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