There’s a big cover story about Kevin Durant in this week’s Sports Illustrated.
SI released a few quotes of from it today, and this one about LeBron James caught our eye.
Durant was open about his obsession with LeBron. He says he follows his box scores every night, and recreates how he might have played to get those numbers. He also said he wants to “destroy” LeBron, even though they’re friends.
“I don’t watch a lot of other basketball away from the gym. But I do look at LeBron’s box score. I want to see how many points, rebounds and assists he had, and how he shot from the field. If he had 30 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, I can tell you exactly how he did it, what type of shots he made and who he passed to.”
“People see two young black basketball players at the top of their game and think we should clash. They want the conflict. They want the hate. They forget Bird cried for Magic. A friend was getting on me about this recently, and I said, ‘Calm down. I’m not taking it easy on him. Don’t you know I’m trying to destroy the guy every time I go on the court?'”
LeBron and Durant are the best two players in the NBA and no one else is close.
Their rivalry isn’t based on hatred, it’s based on circumstance. To win a title, Durant will have to go through LeBron, and vice versa.
And you get the sense that they both realise it. This quote shows that Durant cares about his position in the NBA hierarchy, and is enamoured with taking down the guy who stands in front of him.
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