Knicks’ Julius Randle calls Nets’ Kevin Durant NBA’s ‘best player’

Julius Randle guards Kevin Durant 1/13/21 cropped

Julius Randle guards Kevin Durant 1/13/21 cropped

When asked Monday if Kevin Durant is the NBA’s most hard gamer to guard, Julius Randle took things an action even more.

“Yeah,” Randle stated. “He’s the best player in the league, for sure.”

Ahead of a 7:30 p.m. video game in between the Knicks (11-9) and Webs (14-6) Tuesday at Barclays Center, Randle put Durant’s capability into viewpoint.

“You ever seen a 7-footer that skilled?” Randle stated. “Do anything, everything on the court? No weakness? Yeah, that’s him. He’s tough. A great player, but I love competing against him.”

After missing out on the 2019-20 project in Brooklyn with a torn right Achilles, Durant did not miss out on a beat the following season. Durant has actually revealed no indications of decreasing either — through 19 video games in 2021-22, his 15th year as an NBA gamer — he averages 28.6 points, connected together with the Golden State Warriors’ Steph Curry atop the league, on a 54.8% shooting clip.

“I mean, he’s just KD,” Randle stated. “He’s skilled. I think it’s different with him because, I mean, he’s obviously an extremely explosive athlete. He’s fast and quick, but he’s been so skilled for so long that I think his game is way more relied on skill than athleticism and all that type of stuff — smart and skills. So he’s relying on that more than anything.

“And like the ACL injuries, the Achilles injuries — now, individuals return from that and they’re great and able to recuperate and play. It’s not a career-ending thing. So I never ever want that on anyone, however even when it occurred to him, I seemed like he was going to be great.”

Without Kyrie Irving (COVID-19 protocols), Durant has guided the Nets to an early Eastern Conference lead. Randle respects what Durant and Brooklyn have done while embracing a chance to compete with the best.

“Well, Kyrie’s another one that’s actually, actually excellent — like, most likely have not seen a gamer like him in the league in the past,” Randle said of Durant during Irving’s absence. “So (Irving) uses like an entire other vibrant to their group. However what I have actually seen is KD’s been playing excellent.

James (Harden) has been the point guard, kind of steering the ship, and all the other guys have been contributing nicely and filling in their job and doing their role. So it seems like they’re playing well, but I think we’ll be up for the challenge.”

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.