During a 2018 interview, Kobe Bryant was asked who the toughest guy in the NBA to defend was, and without hesitation he named Kevin Durant. While engaging with fans on Wednesday, the Suns forward was asked how he felt that Bryant said he “couldn’t figure out” Durant when it came to trying to defend him.
“I felt like I was doing something right,” Durant wrote on Twitter.
During the interview, Bryant explained that when Durant first came into the NBA, he was “easy to defend.” The Lakers legend said the young wing couldn’t go right and shoot, couldn’t turn left shoulder while in the post and couldn’t finish at the rim with his left hand.
However, Durant eventually developed his game and became one of the most lethal scorers in NBA history and Bryant couldn’t figure out a formula to slow him down.
“I retired without really being able to figure out how I can stop him,” Bryant said in 2018.
As it stands now, Durant is thirteenth all-time in NBA scoring at 26,892 points at 34 years old and has led the NBA in scoring on four different occasions. He’s also the youngest scoring champion ever after his impressive 2009–10 campaign when he led all scorers at just 21 years old.
The two players were good friends and it’s clear Durant had earned Bryant’s respect on the hardwood—something he still appreciates to this day.