Kevin Durant admired Kobe Bryant, but he also used him as an enemy to reach a milestone early in his career.
Michael Jordan invented conflicts and stories with certain players to create additional motivation. Kevin Durant also used this technique to progress early in his career. That’s what the Brooklyn Nets winger told Yahoo Sports. Like many players of his generation, « KD » had Kobe Bryant as a benchmark in terms of the level to be reached to be considered an elite player.
« I felt like I was having a beef with Kobe Bryant but he didn’t even know I was thinking like that. When you grow up you see these guys and you rub against them to sharpen you and make you better. . When LeBron James or James Harden score 50 or 60 points, I think of a way to do better or to keep my level high. It’s healthy competition. «
Suddenly, we wonder how Kevin Durant approached the London 2012 Olympics campaign with Team USA. Kobe Bryant was on the roster. The Black Mamba, tragically disappeared a little over a year ago, was in any case full of praise for KD, like these statements during an interview with baseball star Alex Rodriguez
“I retired without finding a way to stop Kevin Durant. When he got to the NBA, it was easy to defend on him. Because he couldn’t shoot off to the right. His shot crossed his face [left to right]. It was one of his weaknesses. Like the post, he couldn’t turn on his left shoulder.
Then he developed his game. Now he can shoot starting from the left, starting from the right, he can shoot from a distance, he can shoot left hand, right hand. Before he was comfortable with his left hand, I could steer him left and even with the size advantage he was having a hard time concluding.
I found myself without a solution. I was trying to count the seconds before he made a move. I couldn’t figure out how to slow it down. «