Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant are two of the greatest basketball players that ever lived.
The respect they had for one another is well known.
In light of Bryant’s tragic and premature passing, Durant has taken a more reflective tone on his old friend in recent years.
This week, during a session with reporters, Durant confessed the one profound bit of advice that Bryant gave him which always stuck with him.
Kevin Durant said it was “really cool” to hear Hornets HC Steve Clifford compare his preparation to Kobe Bryant’s.
KD when asked what he learned most from Kobe:
“Really, just don’t be a crybaby.” pic.twitter.com/yrbR9DMp4h
— Erik Slater (@erikslater_) December 8, 2022
“Really, just don’t be a crybaby,” Durant revealed.
“I was at that age at 23 where I felt like the world revolved around me, and he was real humble with how he approached the game, how he approached his teammates, just life in general. So I just learned from watching his movements.
“He didn’t say much but he was an example just by how he moved and I try to emulate (that). Like I said, him and Michael (Jordan) are two dudes I emulate on and off the court what they do and it only made me better.”
Bryant famously described Durant as the hardest player for him to figure out how to defend.
Durant, meanwhile, has described at length his beef with Bryant and how he coped with it.
Whether he is breaking down the incredible way Bryant used to trash talk him or settling the Kobe vs LeBron debate once and for all, Durant’s unique perspective on all things Mamba is always fascinating to listen to.
— Game 7 (@game7__) December 9, 2022
Durant is one of the few players who can speak with a certain authority on Bryant because of the mutual respect they shared for each other.
It will be interesting to see what sort of gems he opts to drop in the coming years on his old friend.