Durant: Giannis Is More Athletic, Longer & Faster Than Me

Kevin Durant, an eight-time All-Star, six-time All-NBA selection, and one-time MVP, spoke with Bill Simmons on The Bill Simmons Podcast last week and talked about the future of the NBA. Fittingly, the discussion centered around the Bucks very own Giannis Antetokounmpo.

“Look at Giannis,” Durant said. “Giannis Antetokounmpo, this guy is scary."

“He’s more athletic than I am. He’s longer than me. He’s faster. He’s going to be stronger than I am.”

Durant, who has led the league in scoring four times and is currently in his first season with the Golden State Warriors where he’s averaging 25.8 points per game, knew about Giannis right away. He recalled playing a game in Milwaukee where he had one of his first encounters with Antetokounmpo.

“I saw how hard he played his rookie year and I was like this guy plays extremely hard. A lot of people told me he looked up to me, and I didn’t know that, but a lot of people said that. We played in Milwaukee one time and I was working out before the game and I just saw him staring at me, just watching me the whole time. I was like it feels good that I can influence a young guy like that.”


Fast forward a few years, and a few days before he makes his first All-Star appearance of his career, Giannis certainly appears to be on track to become a superstar like Durant one day. For Durant, having such an impactful influence on a younger, emerging star, and seeing them succeed down the road when he’s no longer playing, is all he could ever ask for.

“That’s all I wanted. I wanted to influence these guys,” Durant said. “I wanted to have them look at me and think that’s the standard. So to see [Giannis] playing well, I’m loving it right now. He’s one of those guys I really enjoy watching. I watch him play a lot and then I play against him and I’m like this guy is dangerous.

“It feels good to influence the guys that come after me. That’s what it’s all about. When I’m done with the game, and I can be like, Giannis, you’re doing it well. At 30 years old you’re going to be one of the greatest players to ever play. I’m happy for you.”

You can download the full episode of The Bill Simmons Podcast with Durant, or any other episodes from the podcast on iTunes, or by visiting The Ringer.