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Dirk Nowitzki says Durant way ahead of where he was at 23. He’s right.

Jun 14, 2012, 12:16 PM EDT

Oklahoma City Thunder's Durant takes part in a team practice for the NBA basketball finals in Oklahoma City Reuters

It’s very difficult to compare Kevin Durant to another player past or present, because there is nobody quite like him — long, deadly on the catch-and-shoot but can attack off the dribble, can play isolation or within the offense, and with a shot that is virtually unblockable.

The closest thing on offense may be Dirk Nowitzki — a 7’0” jump shooter with seemingly unlimited range and an unblockable shot. They’re not the same, but there are similarities.

So Dirk, how would you compare yourself and KD? (via ESPNDallas.com)

“KD,” Nowitzki says, “is way ahead of my curve….

“He’s a 6-10 guy with a 7-4 wingspan who can shoot it from the parking lot. He’s posting up now. In transition he’s so long that, when he gets a pass from the 3-point line, it’s a layup or dunk with one step. He’s got the one- or two-dribble pull-up, which you need to be a great scorer, because you can’t just shoot 3s or go to the basket if you want to be a great scorer, ’cause sometimes you can’t get all the way to the bucket. He can go both ways, one or two dribbles and up.

“And he’s clutch, too. He’s hit big shot after big shot all season long.”

Wow. That’s some serious praise.

It’s a little hard to compare the guys because Nowitzki is a four and Durant is a three, although neither really fit into any easy to define mold.

But Nowitzki is right — Durant is on a higher curve.

Nowitzki is no slouch — at age 23 he averaged 23.4 points per game, shot 47.7 [percent overall and 39.7 percent form three, with a PER of 24.1, plus he got invited to his first All-Star Game.

But Durant averaged 28 points a game (to lead the league) on 49.6 percent shooting, hit 38.7 percent on his threes, had a PER of 26.2 and played in his third All-Star Game.

And Durant may have his first title at 23. Dirk had to wait another 9 years. Just a different trajectory.

  1. abchome - Jun 14, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    Obviously

  2. delius1967 - Jun 14, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    The two do have one thing in common, though: they are two of the humblest superstar players you will ever see. I’ve never seen either of them seeking out the spotlight. The ball, yes. The big shot, absolutely. But try to imagine Nowitzki making a rap video about how great he is (ignoring the many, many other reasons why that wouldn’t happen). Or try to picture Durant getting in a shootout in a strip club with a big posse of yes-men around him.

    These are guys who are grounded, who understand that just because they are better than most everyone else on the court, that doesn’t mean they are better than everyone else off the court as well.

    • gmen4life33 - Jun 14, 2012 at 2:08 PM

      Good post. Me and a friend saw Durant waiting on the corner of the Wawa at UMD capus 3 years ago, and he couldnt have been nicer. He talked to us for a good 5 minutes about basketball and laughed when we told him he should have came to UMD. It was crazy how down to Earth he was.

      After walking away we both thought “man, we should have aske dhim to ball with us at the gym”, so we went back and did lol. He said “Sorry, guys, meeting Vasquez (his HS teammate who played at UMD) but I would otherwise.” How nice was that for him to do.

  3. camnellum12 - Jun 14, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    It is hard to compare Durant to another player, but how about Bob McAdoo? When he was a Buffalo Brave, he was a 6’10 scoring machine? Or like nbadraft.com nailed it on the head, they said Durant is Dirk Nowiztki x Tracy McGrady. He’s 6’10 with a 7’5 reach, but has the fluidity and skill set of a small SG.

  4. kingbuccaneer - Jun 14, 2012 at 1:58 PM

    KD is a once in a lifetime talent. With the smarts he already has at 23, barring injury, he’ll go down as one of the best to ever step foot on an NBA court.

  5. loungefly74 - Jun 14, 2012 at 2:30 PM

    KD…talk about a guy who done EVERYTHING the right way. sheesh.

  6. therealhtj - Jun 14, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    The only thing not to like about KD is if he doesn’t play for your team.

  7. ndnut - Jun 14, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    People from Seattle don’t like him and he plays for “their” team.

    • scalfor3 - Jun 14, 2012 at 4:56 PM

      thats stupid, he didn’t move the team

  8. lakerluver - Jun 14, 2012 at 6:00 PM

    I am a huge LAKERS fan but I absolutely love dudes like KD and Derrick Rose. They’re proving you don’t have to get tats proclaiming you’re the “Chosen One”. Or have a “pre” championship celebration just so a bunch of bandwagon fans can bow at your feet and tell you how grateful they are for you deciding to bring your talents to their lame city.

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