Kobe Bryant and Tony Allen have had some memorable battles on the court over the course of their careers, most notably when Allen and the Boston Celtics faced (and ultimately were defeated by) Bryant's Los Angeles Lakers in the 2010 NBA Finals.
These physical matchups have never bred contempt between the two players, and Bryant has often publicly shown respect for Allen's hard work. "He's fundamentally sound defensively and he plays harder than everybody else defensively," Bryant said to Mark Medina of the LA Daily News earlier this season.
Allen recently made waves while "mic'd up" by TNT for the game 2 of the Grizzlies and Warriors playoff series, continuously shouting "first-team all-defense" to let everyone in the building know where he believes he ranks among NBA players:
Brian Phillips of Grantland wrote a profile detailing Allen's performance so far in the 2015 playoffs, which Bryant tweeted out with a solitary hashtag: #respect.
Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) May 8, 2015