Warriors

What Kevin Durant learned from Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala on Warriors

Warriors

Kevin Durant was incredible during his nine years with the Oklahoma City Thunder (his rookie season was with the Seattle SuperSonics).

He led the franchise to the NBA Finals in 2012, won four scoring titles, was named NBA MVP in 2013-14 and took home First-Team All-NBA honors five straight years from 2010 to 2014.

Yet, he became a better all-around basketball player during his three seasons with the Warriors. The main reason for that is the two-time NBA Finals MVP improved on the defensive end of the floor.

"I learned a lot from watching guys like Andre Iguodala -- how he used his hands in the paint when guys were going up to shoot," KD said on a recent Instagram Live. "I watched Draymond (Green) -- the timing of when he would leave somebody on the perimeter to go help on the post.

"That little stuff I just tried to take from each and every one of those defenders I played with."

Durant averaged career highs in rebounds (8.3) and blocks (1.6) during his first season in a Dubs uniform. Remember Game 2 of the 2017 NBA Finals when he racked up 11 defensive rebounds, five blocks and three steals?

Did you forget that KD averaged 2.3 blocks over the Warriors' first 38 games in 2017-18?

Jonathan Tjarks of TheRinger.com wrote an article in February 2018 with the headline: "Kevin Durant's Defensive Player of the Year candidacy isn't perfect, but it's real."

[RELATED: DPOY realistic for Durant? 'I'm never gonna get a look']

It ended up not being real, but that's not the point.

KD was a sponge and took advantage of being teammates with guys who can do stuff like this:

Durant showed that he has the ability to be a lockdown defender and elite rim protector when fully engaged.

And the basketball world looks forward to seeing those skills back on display whenever the two-time NBA champion returns to the court.

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