| 4 years ago||
"Durant is 6'11 me" - Kobe Bryant
[pic - click to view] http://espn.go.com/nba/pl .. ant-motivation
Durant has higher basketball I.Q
[pic - click to view]
When Kobe Bryant entered the NBA, it was clear that Michael Jordan was both his template and target. Maybe that's why Kobe's the closest thing to Jordan. Since Kobe is so good at specifics, we should let him describe what the ultimate manifestation of Durant could be.
"A 6-11 me," Bryant said.
But Durant is so much nicer than Kobe. A lot nicer on the court than Chris Paul, too. While Durant runs over to his mother before every home game, Paul has made it clear he would run over his mother to win a game. Does Durant have that inner fire, that nasty edge, that … that …
"That dog in him?" Bryant asked. "He's got it in him."
For proof, Bryant cited a 14-point burst in the final 3˝ minutes of a playoff game against Denver last year and game-winning shots against the Dallas Mavericks this year, in both the regular season and the playoffs. Since Bryant said those words, in the midst of the second round, Durant went on to hit a game winner against the Lakers, drop 16 points in a fourth-quarter barrage against the Spurs and pour in 17 points in the fourth quarter of Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
He's getting it done. But while we, the sports-watching society, fixates on results (ask LeBron), Durant chooses to focus on the method.
"I've really been looking at the mental aspect of the game, how [Bryant] approaches it, watching film, studying opponents, just making sure he's vocal every time down," Durant said. "Posting up, the footwork that he uses posting up and how patient he is on the offensive end. I'm learning, every single day. I know that I work hard. It's going to take me some time, but I know that I'll get there."
And that's one of the few times you'll ever get a sense of what Durant considers "there." Even though he didn't say it explicitly, you have to a.ssume he was talking about Bryant's level, since he was asked to reply to Bryant's description of him.
In many ways, Durant already has moved past Bryant. This season, he beat Kobe out by a tenth of a point to claim his third straight scoring title, one more than Bryant has in his career. He finished second in the Most Valuable Player voting, two spots ahead of Kobe. And he knocked Kobe out of the playoffs.
Durant doesn't constantly chuck away
Durant can shoot 50+ %
Kobe is more like 6'6 Westbrook