Kevin Durant is one of the most underrated superstars in the league, even though it might be hard to say something like that. After winning two championships with the Warriors and struggling with a ruptured Achilles tendon in his right leg, he fully recovered. There are high expectations from him and the Brooklyn Nets, who are considered one of the biggest contenders for a championship in the eastern conference. On top of that, Durant is known as someone who is very passionate about basketball and is a real student of the game.
In an interview with The Athletic, he gave his insight on some of the best offensive players he has seen or played against, and three names came to his mind while one might be a bit surprising on the other hand.
“Kobe [Bryant], MJ [Michael Jordan] and Kyrie [Irving].
“Just the way they move, I don’t understand why people don’t realize what they’re seeing in these three, especially Jordan and Kobe. Kyrie is younger than me, and that’s one of my best friends, so I watch his stuff.
“But watching Kobe and Mike, I’m like, ‘How do you not realize how good these dudes are?’ How do you not say they’re by far better than anybody who’s played the game? Just by the way they move, how fluid they are.”Kevin Durant, via The Athletic
Standing at 6’11”, Durant can do pretty much everything on the court, but even he recognizes some of the things Kobe and MJ did better than he does, and there are even some things he can’t do at all in comparison to the two all-time greats.
“I can’t do what MJ does. I can’t palm the ball. I wish. I can’t shoot the turnaround, pump-fake spin, half-spin fadeaway like Kobe. Or crossover like Kyrie. I can’t do it. But I can try it. I can do it in my version, do it in my way. It keeps me creative and my excitement level for the game.”Kevin Durant, via The Athletic
He also showed the ultimate respect to MJ while at the same time comparing him to the likes of Barack Obama, Einstein, and Beethoven, the famous composer of classical music.
“Everybody that comes to my house, whether it’s friends or family, I make them watch Jordan highlights. This is equivalent to [Albert] Einstein…f–king [Ludwig van] Beethoven…or [Barack] Obama. This is the greatest talent and athletes and minds of the world.Kevin Durant, via The Athletic
“Just because they play sports, people think one way. But they’re masters, they’re geniuses. I just started realizing that a few years ago: Watching those guys can really spark my creativity.”
In the last couple of years, Durant expanded his game even more, mostly because of the difference in OKC playing style and the one Warriors ran. With OKC alongside Westbrook, he was the primary offensive weapon, while with the Warriors, there were other scoring options in Klay and Steph, so he played differently than before. We witnessed his versatility on both ends of the floor, something that the Nets will highly profit from if he remains healthy. He recently said he is still watching a lof MJ footage, and there is a doubt we’ll see a better and more improved Kevin Durant in the upcoming season.