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For NBA fans, Kevin Durant’s candidness has been a welcome surprise not only this summer, but over the past months and year on Bill Simmons’ podcast with The Ringer.
Over that time, Durant has appeared on the podcast four times, the most recent one being released on Thursday. In that podcast, Simmons took mailbag questions from fans and readers to be directed toward Durant.
The whole podcast is great, but a pair of questions stood out for Laker fans.
Bill Simmons: “Franco D. wonders ‘What do you think when you hear player evaluations like ‘Brandon Ingram is going to be the next Durant?’ Do you appreciate it or do you get annoyed that people think there’s going to be another Kevin Durant?”
Kevin Durant: “I appreciate it. Especially when it’s accurate. Somebody like Brandon Ingram feels like, it looks like he can play like me. We have similar builds, but some of the times it’s alright to compare a guy to Meyers Leonard or Darren Collison when they come into the draft. It’s alright. Those guys are really good players and have made a lot of money. You don’t have to compare them to stars. The expectations, man, that can kill a player.”
The Kevin Durant-Brandon Ingram comparisons are not new and were at their peak last summer prior to the start of Ingram’s rookie season. This also isn’t the first time Durant has addressed Ingram being compared to him as he had similar comments last summer.
Likewise, Ingram addressed Durant’s comments about him and said he used them to motivate him, but it’s interesting hearing how Durant feels having younger players compared to him.
Durant also talked about the Lakers once more in the podcast.
Simmons: “If you could join any historical NBA team from before you played, which team would you pick? You just get to slide onto a team.”
Durant: “I would take Worthy’s spot on the teams with Magic…That team was fun. They would run.”
Rich Kleiman (Durant’s agent): “How ’bout you play the 4 and get Rambis on the bench.”
Simmons: “Oh yeah, you could have done that.”
Durant: “Worthy at the 4, I can play the 3.”
Simmons: “So you could have done the ’85 Lakers. Kareem, you, Byron Scott, Magic and Worthy.”
Durant: “That’s length. And we was moving, too. We was getting off the glass and pushing. And Magic ain’t have anybody else who could get off the glass and push like me.”
First, hold on a second while I hyperventilate thinking of that line-up.
Now, just imagine that team. Rambis, with all due respect to his goggles, was the weakest link of that starting line-up and you’d be replacing him with a top 20 player of all-time. Who fits perfect with the line-up. And would be an absolute nightmare to guard in the ’80s.
Raise your hand if you’d like to see Larry Bird try to guard Durant for seven games. Scratch that. A series with the Celtics would only last four.