Nets Kevin Durant Goes off on Comparisons to Lakers Legend Kobe Bryant

Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant

Getty West Team's Kobe Bryant of the L.A. Lakers (L) and West Team's Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder celebrate a point during the NBA All-Star Game February 20, 2011, part of NBA All-Star Weekend at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. AFP PHOTO / Robyn Beck (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant is one of the most unique athletes the NBA has ever seen. He has virtually no flaws in his game, as he can shoot from long range, score in bunches, rebound at a high clip, pass and defend efficiently. To make things even tougher on opponents, Durant is nearly 7 feet tall with the skillset of a 6’1 guard, making him nearly unguardable at his position.

Durant, already one of the NBA’s most decorated stars, is always looking to improve his game, which earned him a comparison to late Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant from one Charlotte Hornets coach. But Durant knows that being like Kobe is easier said than done.

“It’s hard to fill them shoes and to be a Kobe Bryant. Kob is someone I’ve been around and still study to this day. Basically, I try to copy everything he does. The same with Michael Jordan. Those two guys set the tone for everything we want to be as basketball players. I simply try to copy them as much as I can,” Durant said after the win over the Hornets on December 7.

“I guess that showed to Cliff [Steve Clifford], and I enjoy being around him a lot. We talked a lot about the game of basketball I’m sure he can hear that in my voice how much I enjoy that dialogue about the game. It’s pretty cool to hear man. I love Cliff.”

Kevin Durant | Post-Game Press Conference | Brooklyn Nets vs. Charlotte HornetsKevin Durant spoke to the media following Nets vs. Hornets on December 7, 2022.2022-12-08T05:00:16Z

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Steve Clifford Compares Kevin Durant to Kobe Bryant

Durant’s game may be flawless, but what makes his game unique is his work ethic. The two-time NBA Finals MVP works tirelessly to perfect his craft. Each season Durant takes the court, it seems that he has added a new wrinkle to his game. It is the main reason that Charlotte Hornets head coach Steve Clifford likens Durant’s game to Kobe’s.

“He’s a lot like Kobe [Bryant] to me,” Clifford said of Durant. “Their makeup is different in many ways, but on the court, they’re very similar in terms of the way they work, and they’re both students of the game. When I think of Kobe I think of passion, when I think of Kevin, I think of passion. So, two elite players who care deeply about the results more than they do like individual numbers.”

Durant’s Nets co-star Kyrie Irving, who also had a close relationship with the late Lakers star, chimed in on Clifford’s comparison of Durant and Kobe as well.

“They’re very competitive, Kobe and KD. Obviously, with Kob transitioning in the last few years, he would definitely be giving us some gems to continue on, and you can tell that K got a lot of advice from him, and watched him a lot,” Irving said.

Kyrie Irving | Post-Game Press Conference | Brooklyn Nets vs. Charlotte HornetsKyrie Irving spoke to the media following Nets vs. Trail Blazers on December 7, 2022.2022-12-08T05:00:32Z

Durant Sounds off on the Lessons He Learned From Kobe

Before Kobe retired in 2016, he and Durant had many battles as the two alphas were the leaders of their respective juggernauts in the Western Conference when Durant was still a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder. While the two All-Stars were trying to figuratively tear each other apart, going against a legend like Kobe in his early years also served as a learning experience for a young Durant.

What was the most important lesson that the Nets star learned from the late Laker legend? “Don’t be a crybaby.”

“Really just don’t be a crybaby,” Durant said of the most important lesson he learned from Kobe.

“I was at that age, at 23, where I thought the world revolved around me. He was really humble in how he approached the game, how he approached his teammates and just life in general. I just learned just from watching his movements, he was an example. He didn’t say much but he was an example by movement. Him and Mike [Michael Jordan] are two dudes I emulate on and off the court what they do. It’ll only make me better.”

It will be interesting to see if Durant can channel his inner Kobe to help lead the Nets to a championship.

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