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Durant on Kobe: "He's the greatest of all time in terms of skills."


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#1 fozi

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Posted March 13, 2014 - 10:39 AM

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In this file photo, Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (24) and Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) talks during a foul shot in the third quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, March 5, 2013. Oklahoma City won 122-105. (Sue Ogrocki/The Associated Press)

Below is a recent conversation I had with Thunder forward Kevin Durant, who talked extensively about his development and how Kobe Bryant’s mentorship shaped him.

When you look back at your seven year-NBA career, what do you think is the biggest area of growth?

“Just about winning. Being known as a winner. Of course, we haven’t won a championship, But when you play the Thunder, you know it’s not going to be an easy game. That’s what I enjoy the most, knowing that we have a chance to win every chance we step on the court. That’s what defines you as a players, the ability to win as a basketball game.

It’s all about determination and will. Team work and sacrifice. There will be ups and downs. But it’s about how you persevere through the tough times. There’s peaks and valleys in everything and it’s definitely an 82 game season. You’re going to see peaks and valleys. How you react to the valleys, calm and collected in the peaks. That’s what defines great teams with how you persevere.

How do you work on your game?

“Thinking the game more and working on my individual skills, ball handling, post ups and jump shooting. Just keeping the game fun. In the summer time, I play a lot of pick up and a lot of one-on-one just to keep the game fun and so I can react off of instincts. I play the game solely just off of how I feel out there and how the defense is playing me. I try not to be mechanical. That’s how my game has grown.”

Does any of that approach model anything after Kobe Bryant?

“Of course. He’s the greatest of all time. His skill is second to none. Him and MJ are neck and neck as far as skill. You can put in athleticism and be the best passer and strongest and quickest. But it’s about skill. I think that’s how his game is played. That’s why Kobe is the top two best ever in just having skill, footwork, shooting the three, shooting the pull up, posting up, dunking on guys and ball handling. It’s flat out skill. Him and Jordan are 1 and 1 a. They’re neck and neck as far as the skills are concerned.”

“Kobe plays his game no matter what with his intensity and focus and he will play to win. He also will do what he needs to do to get ready to play. If he sees a mismatch, he’ll take it down low and demand the ball. He’s one of those guys who will always bring the same intensity every time no matter who’s on the court.”

How would you compare yourself with Kobe on and off the court?

“Off the court, yeah, we’re different. On the court, we’re the same type of person I think. I think Kobe can appreciate that about me. I can tell. I’m going to go at him when I’m on the court. We’re going to throw elbows and talk trash. We’re going to talk [junk] to each other. I think he appreciates that’s how I play. I may be wrong. But I can sense when a guy has that mutual respect. I don’t give a damn who he is. He don’t give a damn who I am. We’re going to go at it. You can throw the names out the door. The guy in front of me, I will try to kick his [butt]. He’ll do the same with me.”


What’s Kobe’s personality like?

“He’s one of those guys that’s to himself and real quiet. That’s how it was being around the Olympics. He’s a great guy to talk to and somebody that I remember two years ago, I called him at like 3 in the morning. We both had a game the next day. I was picking his brain a little bit. He’s one of those guys who’s a night owl.”

What were you asking him?

“I was picking his brain about different situations in the game and how I can handle my teammates better and how I can approach the game a little better. I don’t think I told anybody that. But I texted him one night and said, Man I need to talk to somebody before playing the next day. It was three in the morning. He picked the phone up. That’s something I’ll always remember. When we play each other, it’s better now that we have that relationship because it was almost bragging rights.”

So giving what you’ve gone through with your scoring this year, what impressed you about what Kobe did back in his prime?

“What I did is not a fraction of what he did. What guys are doing now is nothing compared to what he did. Me, Carmelo, LeBron, Paul George, what we’ve done out there in this league is nothing compared to what Kobe did. A lot of people forget. We live in a world of what have you done for me lately. We don’t remember the day before sometimes. Think back five, six seven years ago with what he was doing, it’s unheard of.”

You said during All-Star weekend that you were tired of the comparisons between you and LeBron and the MVP talk. But do you at least appreciate that may show just how you fit in the history of the game?

Fans don’t care about the history. They just care about today. That’s’ why every other day it’s something different. They don’t care about history. I wish more fans did. Some of them do. But most of them don’t care about the history of the game. They don’t really dig into it. They don’t love it as much as some of the guys here. Most fans just care about what they see on ESPN, First Take, all that BS. They don’t care about the history of the game. But there’s a lot of people that know about the Kobe’s, the Mike’s, Clyde Drexlers and Wilt chamberlains and Magic Johnson. I go to Wikipedia every day and look at Magic Johnson and Adrian Dantley, Karl Malone. When I see those guys, I pay homage and want to pick their brains. I want to enjoy the history of the game and enjoy the people that paved the way for me.”

 

EDIT : Rest of the interview in link 

 

 

 

http://www.insidesoc...om-kobe-bryant/


Edited by fozi, March 13, 2014 - 01:33 PM.


#2 Jackson

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Posted March 13, 2014 - 10:46 AM

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http://www.insidesoc...om-kobe-bryant/

Great, great stuff. Thanks for posting.

 

So giving what you’ve gone through with your scoring this year, what impressed you about what Kobe did back in his prime?

“What I did is not a fraction of what he did. What guys are doing now is nothing compared to what he did. Me, Carmelo, LeBron, Paul George, what we’ve done out there in this league is nothing compared to what Kobe did. A lot of people forget. We live in a world of what have you done for me lately. We don’t remember the day before sometimes. Think back five, six seven years ago with what he was doing, it’s unheard of.”



#3 WZRD

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Posted March 13, 2014 - 11:07 AM

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#4 Hero

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Posted March 13, 2014 - 11:48 AM

It's kinda sad though when players talk about Kobe in the past tense. You know he's going to hang it up real soon. :(


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Posted March 13, 2014 - 12:38 PM

He's absolutely right and we've talked about this sort of thing here several times before. I believe even Real Deal has agreed (as he should).

 

I couldn't be any more happier to hear this from KD, not just cause I'm obviously a Laker & Kobe fan of course, but because it is greatness recognizing & respecting true greatness.

 

Love that second post with the quote especially going into specifics & actually dropping names. Calling out the bull[expletive] biased media in a way too.

 

It's also great cause I doubt other greats like MJ & currently LeBron would ever have enough humility to make such statements and in the way KD did as well.

 

Now we just need KD to come to L.A. when he's free.


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#6 UNLABORED FLAWLESS

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Posted March 13, 2014 - 01:01 PM



#7 MAMBA24ILL

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Posted March 13, 2014 - 01:03 PM

Great read. 

KD said we live in a world of what have you done for me lately. I don't think that pertained much to Kobe when he was in his prime. 


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Posted March 13, 2014 - 01:16 PM

Someday.

 

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#9 pkflyers

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Posted March 13, 2014 - 01:30 PM

i wouldnt mind him on the lakers


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#10 bigvee

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Posted March 13, 2014 - 01:34 PM

Great read. Nice to see KD showing much respect to Kobe. It's easy for NBA fans of other teams to forget how great Kobe really was during his prime.

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Posted March 13, 2014 - 01:40 PM

Durant said Kobe is the greatest of all time.

http://www.insidesoc...om-kobe-bryant/

In terms of skill...MJ is still the GOAT

Tell me why.

 

 

 

 


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#12 Lord Flashheart

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Posted March 13, 2014 - 01:43 PM

^

Spoiler

 

 

Although I dislike KD, I respect him more because of this statements.


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#13 fozi

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Posted March 13, 2014 - 01:48 PM

I agree with    . The Colorado incident and the Shaq feud held Kobe accountable for lot of things, it affected his image.

 

 

People keep talking about LeBron's skills which personally i think is overrated only because his athleticism plays a big role in what LeBron is today.. Im not taking anything from him, but people mix things up a bit ..

 

 

The skill set that MJ's school(Jordan and Kobe) has is unmatched



#14 gque24

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Posted March 13, 2014 - 03:39 PM

Some real spit from KD about how he & every1 else in field not doing things close to what Kobe did in past!


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#15 CueTheRain

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Posted March 13, 2014 - 04:12 PM

I agree, and not just because I'm a Lakers fan. MJ was a better player overall, but he also had better physical qualities than Kobe (bigger hands, vertical leap, etc). There is no one in NBA history that has worked harder on his craft than Kobe. He would have been done years ago or at best be a Jason Kidd if he had the work ethic of an average player. I really hope kobe has it in him to produce at a high level in these next two years, and I've been wrong every time I doubted him.



#16 Massacre

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Posted March 13, 2014 - 04:17 PM

I've always liked Kevin Durant.
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#17 Jody Smokes

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Posted March 13, 2014 - 04:29 PM

In terms of skill Kobe is the GOAT...in terms of the best player ever MJ and it's really not even debatable

 

Tell me why.


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#18 ace™

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Posted March 13, 2014 - 05:39 PM

 

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#19 bfc1125roy

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Posted March 13, 2014 - 05:58 PM

If we are considering just pure skills, I would agree with Durant. More goes into being the GOAT, though. 



#20 LakeShow805

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Posted March 13, 2014 - 06:00 PM

In terms of skill Kobe is the GOAT...in terms of the best player ever MJ and it's really not even debatable

You can make a debate for Kareem but IMO MJ is the best






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