Kevin Durant, small forward for the 48-17 Oklahoma City Thunder, knows a little bit about scoring the basketball. He’s a four-time scoring champion, his points routinely average in the high 20s, and just look at that jump shot. It’s gorgeous. When he was in LA to take on the now lowly Los Angeles Lakers, Durant talked with InsideSoCal about Kobe Bryant, the LA shooting guard and five-time NBA Champion.
“He’s the greatest of all time,” said Durant. “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. 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 1A.”
Durant also downplayed his and his peers’ own accomplishments in light of Bryant’s career saying that “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.”
Bryant, who only played in 6 games this season while dealing with a pair of devastating leg injuries — first a ruptured Achilles’ tendon suffered against the Golden State Warriors last April, then a fractured his left knee’s lateral tibial plateau in December — is currently fourth on the NBA’s All Time Leading Scorer’s list, having notched over 31,000 points in his 17 year career. After signing a contract extension this year, he will remain a Laker until the end of the 2015-2016 season.
While Durant revealed that he does, on occasion, pick Kobe’s brain for tips, he said that Bryant was quiet and kept to himself off the court. “On the court, we’re the same type of person I think,” said Durant. “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 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.”