Poll: Artest, Bryant are toughest defenders

SACRAMENTO — Ron Artest and Kobe Bryant are the NBA’s toughest defenders, according to the results of a poll of the league’s players conducted by Sports Illustrated. Artest was named by 42 percent of the players and Bryant was named by 13 percent. Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic was third with 12 percent, with Kevin Garnett of the Boston Celtics fourth with 6 percent and Shane Battier of the Houston Rockets fifth with 4 percent. Full disclosure, I have helped SI with the poll the last three seasons.

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