Before the Brooklyn Nets’ matchup with Charlotte Wednesday, Hornets head coach Steve Clifford was asked about facing Kevin Durant. Clifford developed a relationship with Durant while working with Brooklyn as a coaching consultant last season.

The ninth-year head coach held the Nets forward in high regard when offering a player comparison.

”He’s a lot like Kobe to me,” Clifford said. “Their makeup is different in many ways, but on the court they’re very similar in terms of the way they work, and they’re both students of the game. When I think of Kobe, I think of passion, when I think of Kevin, I think of passion. So two elite players who care deeply about the results more than they do like individual numbers.”

Like the late Kobe Bryant, Durant has gathered a long list of accolades during his 15-year NBA career. Those include an MVP, 12 All-Star appearances, 10 All-NBA selections, four scoring titles, two Finals MVPs, Rookie of the Year, and a spot on the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team.

Similar to his teammate Kyrie Irving, Durant shared a close relationship with the Lakers star early in his career. A 33-year-old Bryant welcomed a 23-year-old Durant as a teammate on the 2012 Olympic gold medal team. Durant said one piece of advice stood out to him as he moved on through his career.

“Really, just don’t be a crybaby,” Kevin Durant said postgame Wednesday of Kobe Bryant’s advice. “I was at that age at 23 where I felt like the world revolved around me, and he was real humble with how he approached the game, how he approached his teammates, just life in general. So I just learned from watching his movements.

“He didn’t say much but he was an example just by how he moved and I try to emulate (that). Like I said, him and Michael (Jordan) are two dudes I emulate on and off the court what they do and it only made me better.”

At 34 years old, Durant has shown no signs of slowing down this season, averaging 29.9 points, 6.6 rebounds and 5.4 assists while appearing in every game for the Nets. The 15-year veteran was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week Monday for the second time this year after averaging 33.0 points on 48-of-78 (61.5 percent) shooting in four games last week. Durant leads the league in field goal percentage (55.3) among players attempting more than 17.5 shots per game.

The fourth-year Net was appreciative of Clifford’s comparison postgame Wednesday and said that he still learns from watching film of Bryant.

“I mean, it’s hard to fill them shoes and to be a Kobe Bryant,” Durant said. “But Kobe is somebody I’ve been around and still study to this day. Basically, I just tried to copy everything he does. Same with Michael Jordan. Those two guys just set the tone for everything you want to be as a basketball player, so I simply try to copy them as much as I can.

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“And I guess that showed to Cliff. I enjoy being around him a lot. We talked a lot about the game of basketball, so I’m sure he could hear that, hear it in my voice how much I just enjoy that dialogue about the game. So that’s pretty cool to hear, man. I love Cliff.”

Irving developed one of the closest relationships with Bryant among any NBA star during the five years they spent in the league together. The seven-time All-Star guard agreed with Clifford on the similarities he sees between Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant.

“I think if you look at people that want greatness, they will sacrifice time with their families, their friends, and do everything possible in order to give everything they have to what they love to do, to their craft,” Kyrie Irving said. “They have similarities. And I don’t think it’s just Kob and KD, I just think when you see greatness and you wonder how people continue to do it year after year, you have to look at the hours that are put in, the way that they prepare, and how serious they take what they do.

“And you can tell that KD got a lot of advice from him and watched him a lot. So you could definitely see the similarities. And they’re both great, and they’re willing to do anything. They’re willing to do what it takes to win ballgames, and that’s what you want on your team every single night. You can depend on something like that.”