Standing at six-foot-11 (don’t believe the six-foot-nine listing) and boasting a career shooting line of 48.8/37.9/88.2 to an average of 27.2 points per game, it’s pretty safe to say that Kevin Durant is among the most gifted talents in the NBA today.
Turning 29 just before the regular season starts, Durant is in the very prime of his career, the point in his life where his varied basketball skills are at their apex.
But can he get better? This was the question posed to Durant by a fan on the latest edition of the Bill Simmons Podcast.
“Scoring the ball, I feel like I’ve mastered how to score from every area, how to make a shot from every spot on the floor,” Durant said.
“But now it’s about how many different combinations can I add? I’ve got a lot more to learn. … DeMar DeRozan’s probably got the best footwork I’ve seen in a long, long time. I’ve been trying to watch him to see how he does it.
“He’s just way more athletic than I am first of all, so his body can move a little different, but his pace is amazing. He’s a guy I’ve been studying lately just because of his footwork. Every time I see him I’m just looking at how his body, his footwork. I think that’s where I can get better.”
Now DeRozan is certainly no slouch, averaging a career-high 27.3 points per game last season on 46.7 per cent shooting on his way to his third all-star nod, but he’s no Durant; an eight-time consecutive all-star and a five-time All-NBA First Team selection.
However, Durant isn’t wrong in his praise for DeRozan’s footwork – far from it actually. The Raptors’ star’s excellent ground game has been praised on multiple occasions from different sources (here’s three right here, here and here), so the Golden State Warriors superstar definitely isn’t the only one to notice.
Durant’s already a fairly unstoppable force, but if he adds the same level of pivot turns, drop steps and smooth step-backs that DeRozan has in his arsenal you may as well just start praying he misses because he will actually be un-guardable.