“How good he is.”
That four-word statement was delivered jokingly by Zach LaVine when asked by a reporter ahead of Chicago Bulls-Brooklyn Nets square-off, wherein the subject of question is about what he learned from Kevin Durant during their recent Tokyo Olympics.
As such, no one would deny that KD is an all-time talent — a two-time Finals MVP, multiple All-NBA and All-star participant, and holder of the 2014 league MVP. But LaVine further emphasized that Durant is something to be cautious about on the defensive standpoint of the Bulls due to its uncanny offensive arsenal.
“He’s like nobody else,” LaVine said. “Defense doesn’t really affect him. And that’s the thing that, even talking today, we’re going to play some really good defense on him. And he’s going to shoot some shots over double-teams or contested hands that he really doesn’t see. It’s just his special ability to negate the defense and not let it affect him.”
Durant is a true believer of LaVine’s abilities even before they played with each other for Team USA, acknowledging the effort of the star swingman in being tenacious defensively and picking its spots as an offensive player of the stacked roster.
LaVine, this time, expressed the honor he got from playing with KD, even praising its “second to none” work ethic.
“He’s a great guy, extremely intelligent, incredible teammate. We all looked to him for leadership out there. Obviously, we made the right decision with that,” LaVine said. “You grow friendships and you see his work ethic and everything like that.
“I tried to shoot with him every day. But he didn’t miss one workout, one routine. Every day he got in the gym, he had the same workout after practice. He shot after every day. He came early to the gym. His work ethic is second to none. I just tried to attach to that.”
The Bulls went on to beat the Nets on Monday, 118-95, as LaVine finished the game with 24 points, five boards and four dimes. Durant meanwhile had 38 markers and 10 rebounds as the only bright side of the white and black.
Chicago and Brooklyn will meet once again on December 4 for a regular season rematch.