Kevin Durant: Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Kyrie Irving Stand out Most on Film

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistDecember 11, 2018

Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant, right, is defended by Oklahoma City Thunder's Kevin Durant during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

Kevin Durant has seen a lot of basketball film through the years, and three players in particular left an impression.

He told The Athletic's Shams Charania:

"Kobe [Bryant], MJ [Michael Jordan] and Kyrie [Irving].

"Just the way they move, I don't understand why people don't realize what they're seeing in these three, especially Jordan and Kobe. Kyrie is younger than me, and that's one of my best friends, so I watch his stuff. I get to play with Steph [Curry] every day, so I know his game inside and out.

"But watching Kobe and Mike, I'm like, 'How do you not realize how good these dudes are?' How do you not say they're by far better than anybody who's played the game? Just by the way they move, how fluid they are."

With nine All-Star selections, an MVP, two Finals MVPs and an All-Star Game MVP on his resume, Durant himself will go down as one of the greatest players and scorers to ever suit up.

The 6'9", 240-pound forward is a matchup nightmare who can create his own shot from anywhere on the court. He can both attack the basket and pull up from 30 feet.

He added: "I can't do what MJ does. I can't palm the ball. I wish. I can't shoot the turnaround, pump-fake spin, half-spin fadeaway like Kobe. Or crossover like Kyrie. I can't do it. But I can try it. I can do it in my version, do it in my way. It keeps me creative and my excitement level for the game."

And continued:

"Everybody that comes to my house, whether it's friends or family, I make them watch Jordan highlights. This is equivalent to [Albert] Einstein...f--king [Ludwig van] Beethoven...or [Barack] Obama. This is the greatest talent and athletes and minds of the world.

"Just because they play sports, people think one way. But they're masters, they're geniuses. I just started realizing that a few years ago: Watching those guys can really spark my creativity."

Durant said he also enjoys watching film of former Milwaukee Buck Sidney Moncrief and former New York Knicks Bernard King and Stephon Marbury.

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