Steve Kerr has had the good fortune of coaching some of the greatest players in NBA history.
One of those guys was current Phoenix Suns star, Kevin Durant.
Because of how up close and personal Kerr was with Durant for a prolonged stretch of both their careers, he is uniquely qualified to draw comparisons to the future Hall of Famer.
And that is precisely what he did this week.
In a conversation with C.J. Holmes of the San Francisco Chronicle, Kerr pointed to rookie Patrick Baldwin Jr. as someone who possesses some Durant-like characteristics.
“When I watch Patrick I see a future rotation player,” Kerr said.
“He fits. You can see it. He makes shots from the perimeter with ease. He shoots it from such a level of extension that you can barely challenge the shot.”
Kerr then took it one step further.
“When Michael Porter Jr. shoots the ball in Denver, you can’t really challenge it,” he continued.
“When Kevin Durant shoots it at 6-foot-11, that kind of release, you can’t challenge it. So [Baldwin] has that kind of extension and size and shooting ability, so you can see [his fit] it makes a lot of sense.”
Kerr has never been one to bite his tongue about young players, so it makes sense that he would be so blunt here as well.
This past week Baldwin showed precisely why Kerr is so high on him. In a game against the Los Angeles Clippers, the youngster scored 11 points on 4-for-6 shooting from the field and 3-for-5 from beyond the arc.
— Game 7 (@game7__) February 25, 2023
Obviously Golden State is competing for a title this year, so Baldwin won’t and shouldn’t get major minutes.
But soon enough the team’s veterans will move on. And when they do, Baldwin will get his opportunity to shine.
Time will tell if he ultimately turns into someone even remotely resembling Durant, but the fact that the comparison is being made now is definitely fascinating.
A longtime sports reporter, Carlos Garcia has written about some of the biggest and most notable athletic events of the last 5 years. He has been credentialed to cover MLS, NBA and MLB games all over the United States. His work has been published on Fox Sports, Bleacher Report, AOL and the Washington Post.