The NBA's best European players have said that playing in their home continent is more difficult than the American game. Phoenix Suns star Kevin Durant doesn't seem to agree. When posed with the question on Twitter, Kevin Durant suggested that playing basketball under FIBA rules is different, but not harder than playing in the NBA.
Few NBA players have excelled in overseas competitions run by FIBA more so than Durant. The Suns' star carried Team USA for much of its gold medal run in 2021 at the Tokyo Olympics. Durant led the Americans with 20.7 points per game. Durant only committed five turnovers in six games.
It’s not harder pause, just different. It’s just hoop at the end of the day https://t.co/SBufqqPnyF
— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) July 13, 2023
Before the start of the 2022-2023 NBA Season, Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo claimed that the European game is “way harder” than NBA basketball.
“And I don't want to disrespect [NBA players]; the talent obviously in the NBA is way higher.” Antetokounmpo said. “But the space, it's just [different], like you have a lot of lanes to drive the ball and create. I think over there, it's more intense. People pick you up full-court, double-team you, they start from zone and then go man-to-man at the last second, they double-team you in the post, there's no lanes to drive, they're more physical… I don't know if it's because the talent is less so they need to be more physical to catch up, but it's harder.”
Reigning NBA Finals MVP Nikola Jokic has also suggested that it's tougher to score in Europe.
It's safe to say that Durant would be a dominant scorer whether he played basketball in the United States, in Europe or on the moon.