Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant says he tries to replicate Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan.
Charlotte Hornets head coach Steve Clifford compared Durant to Bryant before the Hornets-Nets game Wednesday, saying they both had "passion" and cared about winning, and Durant told reporters after the game:
"It's hard to fill them shoes and be a Kobe Bryant. But Kob is somebody I've been around and still study to this day. And basically I just try to copy everything he does, same with Michael Jordan. Those two guys just set the tone for everything you want to be as a basketball player. So I just simply try to copy them as much as I can."
Durant showcased his skill set in a 122-116 Nets win, totaling 29 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. The 12-time All-Star is averaging 29.8 points per game this season, sixth-most in the NBA.
Though Durant has a different style on the court than Bryant and Jordan, he has learned a lot from studying them. Bryant was a role model for Durant when he entered the league.
"He was an example," Durant said. "He didn't say much, but he was an example just by how he moved and I try to emulate, like I said, him and Mike are two dudes I emulate on and off the court what they do and I know it will make me better."
The 34-year-old noted that one piece of advice from Bryant that sticks with him is "just don't be a crybaby."
Bryant and Jordan are both in the top five in NBA history in points scored, and Durant, who ranks 18th, could reach that point before his career ends. He's also fourth all-time in points per game at 27.26, a category led by Jordan (30.12 PPG).