Lonzo Ball is one of the better wing defenders around the NBA. So believe him when he tells you that Kevin Durant is a top-5 1-on-1 player ever.
It’s difficult to look at Kevin Durant play basketball and not wonder about how perfectly he’s built for the game. The man is damn near 7 feet tall and can hit every shot on the court.
Durant has been averaging 27 points per game right from his second season in the NBA. He won 4 scoring titles and led the league in points 5 times through the next 5 years. If there’s one thing for certain in the NBA, it is that KD can always generate a good look for himself.
It is often fun for basketball fans and NBA 2K players to debate about the greatest 1-on-1 players ever. And Durant has been balling so hard that he’s been in those conversations for a decade now.
Lonzo Ball places Kevin Durant alongside Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant
There are players in the league today who grew up on a staple of KD getting buckets on their idols. So they knew just how capable Durant was of embarrassing them even before they got on the floor.
And yet, as Lonzo Ball details in his Players’ Tribune article, the experience of being on an island against the Slim Reaper is very different in real life from their imagination:
“I remember my rookie year when I was in L.A., we were playing the Warriors at Staples, and with like 20 seconds left in OT, in a tie game, I got iso’d on KD at the top of the key.”
He started left, and man … he hit me with this cross, and he just straight up lost me. There was nothing I could do with it. Then he hit the shot, and it was a wrap.”
Lonzo also called KD a top-5 1-on-1 player of all time, placing him alongside MJ, Kobe, T-Mac and AI:
“If I had to pick a top five for that — like, my five toughest one-on-one players of all time — I think I’d put KD and T-Mac in there. Then I’d go MJ, cause he’s the G.O.A.T.”
“I’d have to put Kobe in there, too, because I’ve always been a Kobe guy. I grew up watching him. And then I’ll go with my man A.I., because he used to make guys look silly. He’s just a legend.”