Kevin Durant is already on the (very) short list of best basketball players on the planet but that doesn’t mean he’s completely satisfied with his game moving forward. The reigning NBA Finals MVP appeared on The Bill Simmons Podcast earlier this summer and, among the very interesting tidbits he shared was a revelation as to which NBA All-Star he is trying to study (read: steal from) when it comes to footwork.
While he praised many of his peers, Durant settled on DeMar DeRozan when it comes to the craft of using footwork to excel:
“Triple moves, footwork. DeMar DeRozan 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.”
Beyond that, Durant complimented DeRozan by indicating that “he’s just way more athletic than I am” but indicated that using DeRozan-like footwork could go a long way toward improving his own game. “Trying to beat (his) defender, not off of just length and athleticism” was a focus for Durant and, while there are other top-flight players that can do this, DeRozan certainly fits the bill.
Ironically, the Toronto Raptors standout modeled part of his own game after Durant after competing at the 2016 Summer Olympics and this is something of an homage as a result. At this point, it is probably safe to say that Durant is the superior player but the way that DeRozan has been able to ascend (to the tune of 27.3 points per game a season ago) without the benefit of a knock-down three-point jump shot is quite impressive.
Not everyone can be a 7-footer with unfathomable physical traits like Kevin Durant but even he steals from his peers in an attempt to improve.