Kevin Durant has idolized Carmelo Anthony since he was a teen
Just two months away from the preseason, the best memories for these players aren’t always the games played against different competition, but rather the relationship between the two.
The month or so that they have spent together between their training camp in Las Vegas, the exhibition schedule, and their time in Rio has strengthened the bond between Melo and KD.
Durant, who is known to keep only a select few people close to him, opened up about his relationship with Anthony:
“He’s a real bro,” Durant told NBA.com’s David Aldridge. “That’s my guy. I’ve looked up to Carmelo since I was 15 years old. I wanted to be Carmelo.
“And once I got the opportunity to hang around him and get to know him a little deeper, coming into the Draft, I asked him for advice here and there and it just made things… it made the relationship even smoother.”
Durant, hailing from Washington D.C., attended Oak Hill Academy, the same school where Anthony, a Baltimore product, made his name known.
“Coming from the same area — not close — he could tell that I wanted to reach out to him, and he wanted to reach out to me,” said Durant. “Once we did it, it was just organic and smooth, and he’s been a real friend ever since.”
These comments make a lot of sense as Durant is a one-on-one nightmare with excellent range and a move-set that is flat out unfair for any opponent.
Anthony shares a lot of the same traits, with slightly different skills — he has a more refined back-to-the-basket game and he’s absolutely lethal from the triple-threat position.
Their games are very similar, with a slight twist to each repertoire to make them unique.
As a wise man once said, ‘imitation is the highest form of flattery,’ and it seems that Melo is taking it exactly that way.
“We had this conversation years ago,” said Anthony. “I’ve always heard that, from people back home… I’ve always heard that KD looked up to me. Now, I look at him as my peer. I don’t look at him as a guy who looked up to me. I respect that.
“It’s just hard, man, to see, to know, for me to fathom the fact that one of the greatest players in the world looks up to me, even now,” he added. “It’s crazy — he looks up to me and I respect him and honor him, his game and his work ethic. That’s something that I appreciate about him.”
This is as good as a feel-good story as it gets in an NBA world, where rivalries and virtual wars seem to plague the headlines. Two guys who mutually respect and admire each other and have bonded even more through these last few weeks.