Durant conducted an interview with ESPN Radio over All-Star Weekend and was asked what the toughest 1-on-1 matchup would be for him. That’s when he mentioned Kobe and ‘Melo, who have reputations for being awesome all-around scorers.
“Kobe and Carmelo. They just have an array of moves that can get me off balance,” Durant said of the two stars. “They’re strong on defense as well, but Kobe is just the ultimate one-on-one player. It would be fun playing against him but it would be tough to beat him.”
Durant mentioned prior to the All-Star Game that he wanted to go 1-on-1 with someone during the All-Star Game, and the first player he mentioned was LeBron James. But he didn’t mention LeBron as the hardest to guard 1-on-1. Is that because James is more of a team offensive player than an isolation guy? Or because Kobe is injured and ‘Melo is on the Knicks, so they don’t pose a real threat to KD’s Thunder, while James is the guy he has to overcome? I’m not sure, but that certainly was a notable omission. And it is definitely a tribute to Anthony and Kobe that Durant mentioned them, though it’s not too surprising. Each player has always been known for being excellent on the offensive end. It’s Kobe’s shot selection and risky defense, and Carmelo’s ball-hogging and defense that people have questioned.
Transcription via Thunder Daily