Love him or hate him, there's no denying that Kevin Durant is one of the best basketball players of all time. The Brooklyn Nets superstar has earned his stripes thanks to his incredible talent and the good performances he's recorded during his honored NBA career.
The 2x NBA champion is always named as one of the 10-15 players to ever exist thanks to his offensive talent and the capacity he has to score at will. If we talk about skills, it's hard to find a player with better abilities than him.
Game recognizes game, and just like Durant gets praised for his contributions to the game, he also knows that other players excel at other aspects. In August 2020, the 2014 NBA MVP sat down with former MLB superstar Alex Rodriguez and Big Cat on Barstool Sports' "The Corp" podcast.
The Nets player was asked about which players he considered the best at five different aspects of the game. KD is a hooper and he knows quality when he sees it, picking a series of players as the best in their respective categories (42:50).
Rodriguez: "Best shooter? Best natural shooter you've played against?"
Durant: "Steph was the best natural shooter, but he's at the point now where you can't even include him in shooting conversations because it's like, he's the one and we're gonna talk about the rest. I would say Steve Novak was a great natural shooter. Like that's all he probably did as a kid."
Rodriguez: "Best handler?"
Durant: "Kyrie Irving."
Rodriguez: "Best rebounder?"
Durant: "There's a tie between Dennis Rodman and Andre Drummond."
Rodriguez: "Best defender?"
Durant: "Tony Allen."
Rodriguez: "And the best clutch money player?"
Durant: "Kobe. I was scared s**tless of Kobe late in games."
He selected excellent players there. It was a good argument for Curry and Novak as great shooters, while others like Kyrie Irving and Tony Allen didn't need a lengthy explanation. As for the most clutch player, Durant didn't say anything new. Kobe Bryant enjoyed the challenge of taking over late in games. He was one of the best at that, leaving a big impression on those who watched him play.
Now, KD has a case in at least three of these categories. He's a 7-footer with guard-like handles, something that gives him a big advantage over defenders. Durant has mastered this art over the next couple of seasons, while also working on his shooting skills. As for clutchness, he can make big shots when nobody else wants the ball.
Even though he mentioned seven players who can do these things at the highest level, Durant is excellent at doing at least three of them. That's how you know this man is a special talent.