Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors claimed a second consecutive title and third in the past four years, with each coming at the expense of LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. With James reaching the NBA Finals an eighth straight season, he’s remained at the center of the debate over who the greatest player of all-time is.
It’s a conversation that often times includes Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, among others. Similarities between Bryant and Jordan will forever tie them together in NBA history. James’ style of play differs from theirs, which makes comparing them all the more difficult.
Durant has been mentioned by some as the best active player, but it’s not a widely held belief. It’s also one that mainly tends to surface only after he puts forth a memorable performance, such as scoring 43 points to give the Warriors a commanding 3-0 series lead.
And though he’s playing with future Hall of Famers, Durant was asked by a fan which former player he’d like to have as a teammate for the NBA Finals.
Without any hesitation he explained to Vince Carter during an interview on ESPN why it would be Bryant or Jordan, via Ball Don’t Stop:
“It’s a tie between MJ and Kob. Two guys that I think are a head above everybody else that’s ever played the game. Just their will to win is something, like I said is contagious. It makes you a better player as an opponent as well.”
Bryant and Durant spent multiple seasons playing against one another, including matching up in the playoffs. Though, they also were teammates for Team USA in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.
They helped lead the United States to a Gold Medal in both years, with Bryant playing a particularly pivotal role in the 2008 deciding game against Spain. Durant has previously spoke fondly of Bryant, highlighting what he learned from the five-time champion and the void left after his retirement.
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