Kelly Oubre Jr. is not a household NBA name yet, but the way he's played for prolonged stretches of his second year in the league suggest he's certainly on the way to becoming one.
However, while general fans outside of the D.C. area may still not know much about the 21-year-old, those who follow the sport closely as well as those who play it are starting to appreciate his game. And in a recent podcast published on The Ringer, a major figure of the media as well as one of basketball's top stars took a couple of minutes to discuss Oubre's development.
Ever heard of Bill Simmons and Kevin Durant? Because it sounds like they have secured some early bird seats on the Oubre bandwagon.
"I really like Oubre," Simmons said to Durant while the two chatted on The Bill Simmons Podcast. "I think he's my favorite bench guy in the league right now. He was playing so hard [against the Clippers Wednesday, a game that Simmons attended], he's crashing the offensive boards on every play, he's guarding Chris Paul full court, like he really thought he could shut down Chris Paul."
Kelly Oubre is my favorite non-Boston bench player.— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) March 30, 2017
"I know Oubre because he came to my camps a couple years ago when he was in high school and when he was in college," added Durant. "His confidence level is high. Some of these young cats that come into the league, they got super confidence, uber-confidence, and they just go through the motions. They just too cool."
"But he had a little — he had some dog in him," Durant continued, remembering those camp days. "He might foul you hard. That's how I know, actually, if young guys really want it. They foul you hard and play physical. I was playing with him and he'd foul me hard and I'm like, 'I like that. I like that you care.' Because a lot of these cats don't care about the game."
While Oubre still needs to grow on offense, his production on defense has been a pleasant development for the Wizards. Almost nightly, the lanky swingman will pick an opponent clean and finish on the other end with a strong lefty slam.
That's just one example of the "dog" in Oubre that Durant saw before he reached the Association. Maybe, if things break just right, Durant will get to personally experience it again sometime in June.
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