Kevin Durant has quickly become one of the best players in the NBA, and has helped lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to the NBA Finals for the first time since the franchise relocated from Seattle in 2008. Durant, who won the scoring title this season, is looking to add a championship ring to his rapidly growing trophy case.
When asked about his inspiration and who he’s looking to emulate in the league, he had great things to say about Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant. According to Mike Brouillet of HoopsVibe, Durant watches film of Bryant in order to help him polish his own game.
“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.”
There’s no doubt that Durant and Bryant play similar styles of basketball, especially when you look at Bryant’s younger games. Despite Durant’s taller, more slender frame, both are assassins from beyond the three-point line, and both excel (Bryant more in the past than the present) at getting to the basket and drawing fouls.
If there is anyone to mirror your game after in the league today, Bryant is certainly a good choice. When asked about Durant, Bryant’s response was quite flattering (if you’re Durant).
“[He’s] a 6’11” version of me.”
Durant’s Thunder trail the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals two games to one. Game 4 is scheduled for Tuesday night.