Kevin Durant Recalls Having ‘Beef’ With Kobe Bryant: He Didn’t Even Know
On his podcast The ETCs with Kevin Durant, he shared his thoughts on younger players joining the league and having a person in mind they’re set on beating.
His person was Kobe Bryant. He confessed,
“The Magics, the Birds, the Jordans, they created that brotherhood amongst the league…I felt like I had a beef with Kobe Bryant but he didn’t even know I had this beef.”
He continued and said after a little while in the league, the perspective on more seasoned players changes.
“As you get older you look at these guys as just sharpening you and making you better.”
“When [LeBron James] goes to score 50 points or James Harden has 60 points, I’m looking at, how can I top it just to be better… How can I maintain that level I was on, too. It’s a healthy competition.”
Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant played against each other 25 times during a regular season after Durant joined the league in 2007. They played in two playoff series and even played for Team USA together during the 2012 Olympics.
Sadly, Bryant died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26, 2020. Durant said shortly after his passing:
“Having an opportunity to compete against Kobe and be around him in the human space was a joy, and those emotions start coming out at once. It’s hard to comprehend all of this. Having that time and those moments with Kobe, it was always about pressing forward. And I think at this time it is so hard to do so with just the amount of impact he had on all of us. It is hard to keep going right now. As a basketball community, as the world as a whole, I know we’re just mourning and sticking together when it comes to this.”
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