Superstar Kevin Durant has emerged as arguably one of the best players in the NBA with a skill set that improves with every single game. Durant sat down with Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News on March 13 to talk about his progress and if he's learned something from watching Kobe Bryant. Durant had high praise for Kobe saying the following:
"Of course. He’s the greatest of all time. 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. But it’s about skill. I think that’s how his game is played. 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 1 a. They’re neck and neck as far as the skills are concerned."
Dubbing Bryant as the "greatest of all time" and comparing him to Michael Jordan is about as high a praise as you can get as an NBA player. Bryant has received comparisons to Jordan over the course of his career, but rarely do fellow players ranked him ahead of the Hall of Famer.
Durant continued his praise of the five-time NBA champion by describing how Kobe breaks opponents down and the mental approach to the game via Medina:
“Kobe plays his game no matter what with his intensity and focus and he will play to win. He also will do what he needs to do to get ready to play. If he sees a mismatch, he’ll take it down low and demand the ball. He’s one of those guys who will always bring the same intensity every time no matter who’s on the court.”
Few players in the league today can light it up the way Kobe and Durant. With Kobe's shot-first mentality has been criticized during his career with the Lakers, but he's got five titles to prove that his style of play has paid off.
As for Durant, the challenge of winning that first title continues. The Thunder remain one of the best teams in the NBA with a legitimate shot of contending for a title on an annual basis and will be in contention once again heading into the playoffs.