Kobe Bryant had kind words for both Tracy McGrady and Paul Pierce, two of the fiercest opponents he squared up against in his prime years. Kobe's new book The Mamba Mentality: How I Play, bases his philosophy on basketball around encounters he had with his contemporaries, namely Paul Pierce whom he credited with having a physically dominant skill set. 

“He knew what it was, finally. I was just stronger than him, look. I put that body on him, come on now," remarked Pierce, half jokingly-half boastfully, after Kobe's praise got around to him. "Imma put that shoulder on him, put that hip on him, get the layup. Come on, I was just too strong for these guys. I couldn’t jump over them, so I just go right through them."

If you read into Paul's response a little closer, there appears to be a self-depreciating element at play, as well. Pierce is inherently saying that he and Kobe were mismatched, the same way two boxers from different weight classes tip the scale: one possession a discernible advantage over the other. 

Kobe's new book The Mamba Mentality: How I Play was released on Tuesday, October 23rd. The novel promises "to take readers on an unprecedented journey to the core of his 'Mamba Mentality.'"