Kevin Durant Reveals How a Passionate Vince Carter Inspired Him to Express Himself

Published 04/12/2021, 3:30 PM EDT


Every NBA fanatic is aware of the 2000 All-Star Slam Dunk competition. It was arguably the greatest one in the showpiece event’s illustrious history, thanks to Vince Carter. His dunks reflected his searing passion and enthusiasm for the game, and that motivated players like Kevin Durant to try to replicate him.

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More than his tomahawks and the windmill dunks, it was the character with which Vince Carter played every time he took to the court that stood out. That was the reason Kevin Durant grew up supporting the Raptors and their franchise star back in the 1990s and the 2000s.

Dec 22, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets small forward Kevin Durant (7) warms up before a game against the Golden State Warriors at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

But does Durant feel there is a shade of Vince Carter in his own game? And what did he take away most from him?

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“Probably the passion that he plays with. He’s a unique player,” Kevin Durant told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols in a one-on-one interview. “I can’t replicate that but the passion that stood out to me when I watched him after he dunked, after he made a big shot and how much he loved to play, you could tell he was excited and that just made me go out there and be just more free as a player when I was a kid. I am like, if he can express himself like that, I think I can too.”

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How Kevin Durant is inspiring Anthony Edwards & Co.

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Akin to Vince Carter, KD is also motivating the younger generation to take up basketball. One of the players he has inspired is Anthony Edwards, who grew up watching Durant play. Edwards is a huge fan and even believes that the Brooklyn Nets star is the GOAT over the likes of LeBron James and Michael Jordan.

“To see them watch me when they were in elementary school and middle school is pretty cool because I was one of those kids. Hopefully, I am setting a good example with how I approach the game. Hopefully, I keep inspiring people to play and watch the game,” said Durant.

Jan 25, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) goes up for a shot as Miami Heat guard Duncan Robinson (55) forward Andre Iguodala (28) look on during the second half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

KD still has a lot to give to basketball, with his Nets team looking to make NBA history. He wants to build a dynasty in Brooklyn, which will definitely grab the attention of the future NBA superstars.

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Bharat Aggarwal

757 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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