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"You always calling for a ball screen, f*ck all that" - Iman Shumpert discusses his on-court battles with Kevin Durant

Iman Shumpert reveals Kevin Durant was the hardest player he had to guard in his career.
Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant and Cleveland Cavaliers guard Iman Shumpert

Kevin Durant and Iman Shumpert

The NBA has never had a shortage of talented scorers, and Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant is as good as they come in league history.

Standing at six-foot-ten with a seven-foot-four wingspan, the University of Texas product is one of the more unique bucket-getters to grace the game. A career 27-points-per-game scorer, the 34-year-old currently ranks fourth all-time in points-per-game.

Many have tried, and all have failed

Many opponents have tried throughout the years, but none have been able to stop “KD.”

One of those many was retired defensive specialist Iman Shumpert, who was recently asked who the toughest defensive assignment was in his career.

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“Kevin Durant. KD’s one of them guys that if you challenged him on the court, like I remember when he was in OKC, he called for a screen on some play or whatever and he got this little dunk. When he was running back he tapped me but you know of course we talking sh*t. At this point I said ‘don’t touch me you always calling for a ball screen, f*ck all that.’ So anyway, right into an iso, and he like ‘alright, you don’t want that? You want it? Come get it.’ Took me over there into an iso and hit some shot. I always respected his game,” Shumpert explained.

Shump is just one of many high-level defenders to admit Durant was their toughest cover. Another notable admission was NBA icon Kobe Bryant, who claimed Durant was the “one player I never quite figured out” in 2018.

Shump guarded the best version of Durant

Unlike Bryant, Shumpert was one of the few players who were able to match up with Durant on the biggest stage. In 2017 and 2018, “Shump” went toe-to-toe with Durant while operating at the highest level of his career.

Durant collected back-to-back Finals MVP awards, averaging 35 points and 28 points per game in those Finals, respectively.

Peer recognition is one thing, but the Nets superstar also has individual accolades to back up his pedigree. Durant is a four-time scoring champion, a member of the “50-40-90” club, and the all-time scoring leader for Team USA.

Despite being a 15-year veteran, Durant is still hungry to bring a championship to Brooklyn. The team is off to an uneven start to this campaign, but fresh off a dominant 45-point, 5-assist performance against the Orlando Magic on Sunday night, KD's scoring may be just what they need to save their season.

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