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