Kevin Durant might be the greatest scorer of his generation. Durant’s tenure in the NBA has been remarkable this entire time, and he has achieved a lot of success in the NBA during this entire tenure. The fact that he is still playing at the highest level possible is what makes him arguably the best player in the world today.
But there were players that when Durant was growing up, that he looked up to, tried to emulate, and believed to be the standard-bearers in the NBA.
In a conversation with NFL legend Eli Manning, Kevin Durant names Michael Jordan and Vince Carter as his basketball role models and spoke highly about the time he got to play against Carter in the NBA.
“I looked up to so many. Obviously, Michael Jordan. I compare everything to that going forward. But Vince Carter was the guy that, when I really started to enjoy the game, and started to follow the NBA, is somebody that I gravitated toward, and his athleticism for one. But his energy and passion that he played with was something that rubbed off on me. And I kind of see myself emulating some of the stuff that he was doing in games, and in my game when I was 9,10,11 years old. To actually play against him for 10 years in the league before he retired, it’s crazy to have that moment.”
KD looking up to Michael Jordan is not a surprise by any means. Jordan is the biggest icon in the history of the game. In fact, Durant and Jordan are considered two of the greatest scorers of all time. Durant is the youngest scoring champion in NBA history, while Jordan is the oldest.
Vince Carter is credited by many players today as the person who they looked up to. While Carter wasn’t able to win a championship in the NBA, his impact on the game was tremendous. Many even believe that he is the greatest dunker of all time, and hold him in tremendously high regard.
Carter and Durant faced off during the 2012 NBA playoffs when Carter was playing for the reigning champions Dallas Mavericks.
Durant and the Thunder defeated the Mavericks and eventually made it to the NBA Finals, where he eventually lost to LeBron James and the Miami Heat. Durant clearly appreciated the opportunity to play against one of his idols on a big stage.