Saturday, October 23rd, 2010 at 2:51 pm  |  71 responses

Kobe Bryant: Roy over Durant

by Ryne Nelson

While many of you have been discussing (with utmost civility, of course) the No. 1 and 2 rankings in this year’s SLAMonline Top 50, another debate has been started.

Kobe Bryant was asked who the toughest player for him to guard in the Western Conference on the John Thompson Show the other day. This was Kobe’s response:

“Roy 365 days, seven days a week. Roy has no weaknesses in his game.”

Is this a diss on the 2010 scoring champion? No. While casual fans see Durant as a face of the League and Roy as an oft-injured, not-quite-elite player, NBA players clearly have enormous respect for him and his game.

Kobe clearly values ‘complete’ players. Looking solely at weak points, Roy would have an upper hand. And it’s true Roy has had his success one-on-one with Kobe, which certainly is another highly valued offensive talent in Kobe’s mind.

Kobe’s displayed some serious Brandon Roy man-love for some time. And, in this writer’s eyes, this was not a slight toward Durant. Roy may not have weaknesses, but surely 21-year-old Kevin Durant is cut from a different cloth.

But game does recognize game.

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  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    This makes sense.

  • JTaylor21

    Word up KB, looks like I’m not the only person that doesn’t buy into the KD hype.

  • rob stewart

    Kobe was asked who’s toughest for him to guard. Artest would guard Durant for most of the game. He isn;t matched up against Durant alot. That being said Roy is still a beast

  • spj

    I don’t get this.. kobe said at his camp that melo was the hardest player to cover… now he says roy?? it ain’t like melo has fallen off and he beasts kobe every time they play

  • The Philosopher


  • silverselectjd

    I don’t think it can still be called hype when KD is a proven scorer and go-to guy. If it’s just your opinion, that’s cool, but if you don’t believe the facts, that’s just hate.

  • Mojays

    Kevin Durant has to show me more. I don’t care about NBA regular season games. Durant came up small in some playoff games. ROY is a beast and unguardable. If he played in Chicago, we would all see him more and know how good he really is. Unguardable

  • Harrell

    I dislike kobe with a passion but this is the right call as some others on this website have said KD is a high vlume scorer thats it and Ibet he’ll end up having LeBron with the Cavs years great regular season but come playoff time weaknesses will be exposed.

  • dogmoon

    Rob- I’m pretty sure Kobe has matched up with Durant a few times and knows what he is talking about. Also, Artest has called Roy the hardest player to guard in the league so your point is pretty much invalid.
    Calling Durant the face of the league is most definitely hype. Let’s see if his team can get past the first round of the playoffs before calling him the face of the league.

  • enigmatichater

    kobe doesnt guard durant, or melo anymore. and probably not roy anymore, thats why he asked ron and matt to join

  • donnell

    first of all kobe doesn’t guard the lbj’s, wades, and durants (or, at least, until the closing minutes of the 4th when they are tired and then he will ‘take over’ from ron).

    secondly, kobe didn’t even mention durants name. this is just another attempt by slam to create drama and a diss where none was created or intended. no matter who he mentioned someone would have been left out. that’s just simple logic. stop reading into it.

  • http://www.twitter.com/TheDiesel Anton

    Don’t have enough pens to co-sign this.

  • Flight

    Lol ^

  • http://slamonline.com Jeremy Bauman

    Very interesting for him to say that and he probably means it. I see where he’s coming from but disagree entirely

  • http://shinefluid@aol.com CHI-TOWN SAID IT JOE

    yes durant killed in fiba and last reg season but lets not forget in the playoffs he was pretty average. im sure kobe got to see that 1st hand…just saying

  • http://Slamonline.com Caboose

    Didn’t Ron Artest (when he was on the Rockets) say Brandon Roy was the best SG in the league? It seems that Roy is capable of much more than his team lets him show.

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  • dogmoon

    Also, Roy IS an elite player. Calling him oft-injured and not-quite-elite is a lazy, uninformed statement. He’s had some injuries, but no major ones and is injured no more regularly than most players. Roy could easily score 30 points a game like Durant, but he defers to his teammates more. He is just a clutch a shooter as Durant and a better defender.

  • Black Mamba

    Just wait for Roy to blow up this season…

  • http://slamonline.com LAKERSLEGEND

    ok maybe kobes on some ron artest phil jackson shit mind games with the competition cuz theres no way b-roy is overall better than KD , and i dont see roy as a superstar he might be an alright all star but KD is a superstar in the making!


    I do think Durant is overhyped, but I’d still take him over Roy without even blinking. Good thing Kobe isn’t a GM…rofl

  • JalepinoSausage

    … While Bron is a slightly better & bigger version of Roy & is easily much better than Kobe. give Kev a couple of years to beef up ,mature like cheddar & hel be jolly like rancher.

  • rich

    all he said is that roy is harder because he has no weaknesses.. hes right kd cant dribble( watch the playoffs and his high dribbles)roy has better handles than nearly every guard, athleticism size, strength finishes with both hands, speed, post ability, outside shot. thats a complete player. durant could get a lil quicker and stronger but that will come when he does strength training a lil more. im sure he worked on his handles in the summer so i cant wait to see what hes gonna do this year

  • KennyD

    Brandon Roy is the second best shooting guard in the NBA. I’m surprised he wasn’t in the top 6 cause he deserved more than just what Slam gave him.


    Kobe Bryant is a ball Hog.

  • http://Yahoo.com Eboyhater

    Brandon Roy is a beast he will explode watch people say the west got weaker but with this guy and Kevin durant signing five years deals with there teams they just got younger and better. If oden truly becomes a force to be reckon with then I can see them being a top three team in the west.

  • RedRum

    Roy is the Duncan of guards. No weaknesses, silent, understated. His problem is that he get easily injured.. if it was not for injuries he is top 5 player in this league

  • Valdez

    The reason KB said Roy was because he asked who is the hardest guy to guard not ‘who is the hardest guy to not foul?’. If we’re talking about straight up guarding its not a contest, Roy is the hardest in the Western Conference. Look at what he does to get free, we’re talking mechanics, Roy is the deal. He’s like the Tim Duncan of shooting guards, he’s got six moves that he’s mastered, with his hesitations and cross-overs? Hardest to guard.

    Now Durant is an absolutely amazing shooter, AMAZING, next level player, but his moves are simple and direct, dribble to the side shoot, he just goes straight at the rim, gets fouled and gets to the line, there is nothing wrong with that, and he’s amazing at it, but is it hard to guard? No. Is it hard to stop? Yes, but if we’re talking mechanics (and since we’re talking KB we probably are) and straight up difficulty to guard then 7 takes it.

  • Valdez

    RedRum I swear I typed out my comment before I saw your post, didn’t mean to swagger-jack.

  • http://www.youtube.com/officerbarbrady what

    Ron Artest thinks Roy is the toughest to guard too… except for Mike Chatford, from Artest’s hood in Queensbridge.

  • http://twitter.com/smileyoufckers Bryan

    Maybe it’s because Kobe doesn’t guard Kevin Durant? Ever think of that?

  • Bimmer

    Ya, rob and Bryan are correct. Kobe didn’t even mention KD. This is a dumb article.

  • TheTruth

    He doesn’t guard durant or melo they both play the 3 while roy plays the 2. You guys are ooking way to much into this.

  • TheTruth

    Ment to say looking way to much into this lol.

  • feez22

    Well… this makes sense guys. Kobe doesn’t guard durant. and tbh look at roy’s game. His only weakness perceived to others may be his passiveness/slow pace/athleticism/injuries. He actually uses that slow pace and turns it into a strength. He may not jump out of the gym but he still has a 30-35+ inch vert hops pretty good. That leaves passiveness as his only weakness… and guess what? he just told his team (out of character i may add) that he wants the ball more. he wants more shots. so now he is trying to turn that into a positive. everything else he is good @. he is a very efficient scorer, a killer in the clutch, a good passer, a good rebounder, a pretty good defender (more avg than elite but ya hes still good) and a good leader. If he can get those injuries under control i dont mind kobe saying that. he is a triple threat player. but ya tbh kobe has to guard roy artest can’t do it (he showed that in the 08-09 playoffs while in houston he got torched by roy until battier guarded him). kobe doesn’t guard elite players often anyways… he doesn’t guard lebron, wade, melo, durant… so ya he is forced to guard roy and its obvious roy is a tough SOB to guard.

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    Kobe never said who’s the better player. He was asked who’s the toughest to guard in the west. He answered. Done.

  • http://www.basketbrasil.com.br Rubens

    People saying KD came up short on some playoffs game totally forgot that KB came up short on some Finals games. Still considered one of the best…

  • TrailBlazing&SportingLisbon

    co sign RedRum…Brandon Roy IS A LESS ATHLETIC WADE, with a slightly better outside stroke…hes a complete player, theres nothing he cant do on the hardwood…NOBODY´S SAYING hes a better scorer than Durant, cause he obviously isnt, but the statement is correct, more complete player…Ron Artest 2009 playoffs: ” Roy is the thoughest guy I had to guard in my life, nobody had put 40pts on me, and he did”

  • logues

    comments should have been closed after 3rd comment by rod. kobe never guards durant, so this is all blown out of proportion

  • http://minusthebars.blogspot.com don

    It’s really hard for me to see how anyone could conclude that this is a negative towards Kevin Durant, unless of course Durant guards shooting guards, which he doesn’t.

  • AZ

    doesnt the dude look like a caveman…just a little more cleaned up?

  • slamfan4life

    Durant has weaknesses?

    And Roy obviously does, he’s got the injury bug along with Oden

  • IHaveADream

    That’s not a weakness in his game though. He’s just not been as lucky as his peers to be able to stay healthy consistently. Roy can score in more ways than LeBron. Kobe said not too long ago that if Roy really decided to, he could be unstoppable or something to that effect. Let’s see if the Blazers allow him to do that.

  • dma

    You all don’t watch Roy enough to know. During the top 50 reviews, I remember reading some comments that Roy wasn’t athletic. Dude can finish when he wants to, he just opts to not play with flash, or monster throw downs or get in his opponents’ faces. If you switch Roy and Durant and force feed Roy, I’m sure he would be averaging 30 points as well.

  • KB8toSG8

    I dunno why everyone’s thinking KB is wrong and KD is the hardest…….KB favors complete players over 1 side and done players. And as far as I’ve seen, Roy>>>Durant as an overall player.

  • Hammer

    No surprise here. KB8 has said this bout broy b4. And its the truth. KB8 really has a tuff time guarding him. Not 2 mention that the lakers have a hard time beating us on r turf

  • rich

    i dunno whats up with that building in portland ne1 know the history of it,because people are gettin injured at an alarming rate for such a non-scrub team. it must have been build on an indian burial ground or ufo crashed there at some point. that place just has some bad karma. roy avoids defenders and gets injured with his big body and durant flys in the lane with his tissue paper frame and is fine. they prolly outta just tear down the building and build a new one a few miles away

  • http://slamonline.com riggs

    maybe he has a tough time guarding him cause everyone hypes up his average D.

  • don

    if roy could just stay healthy 1 whole season, i’d be a big fan.

  • Silverselectjd

    Funny how everyone here is quick to disagree/second guess/question a veteran, multiple MVP, scoring champion, multi-championship winning player. Someone who has actually played against these guys, has tried to figure out their weaknesses and break down their games. Maybe, just maybe, Kobe is right about this one, only because he has experienced it and everyone here hasn’t. Maybe.

  • hendry

    i say roy’s weakness is that he’s cant really play without the ball in his hands (ask andre miller). if he can learn to play off the ball more he would be impossible to guard.

  • dfortruth

    Kobe was asked, who is the toughest player for him to guard in the western conference. Kobe answered B. Roy. What’s the problem? Shouldn’t Kobe be the only one to tell us who is the toughest player for him to guard?

    Damn Kobe haters here.

  • http://kb24.com DreXnaW21

    Kobe = SG
    Durant = SF
    of course Kobe would mention BRoy cuz DWade is East, Artest is the one guarding Durant smh

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    COSIGN 100%

  • dma

    in today’s NBA, is there really that much of a difference btwn a SG and a SF? ?

  • dc

    i personally hate how a player gets big and suddenly everyone hates him…
    everybody hates on kobe cuz he dominates now theyre moving on to durant because hes the future star of the league
    just enjoy the game guys u dont need to diss on evry player

  • rich

    ??kobe is at least above average on defense. he uses a lot of energy on offense so he cant sustain it for a whole game but when hes locked in he plays angles well and may not have the lebron style of ” im gonna cut u off everywhere” but he makes u go where u dont want to go like bruce bowen used to do to him.

  • JD

    Kinda understand that Kobe as a great defender finds it easier to guard Durant cos Durant does have a weaknessish for his standard whilst Roy is good at everything

  • Ryan Knox

    Kobe is just mad cuz Durant has took his spot.Kobe is not a top 3 player no more he is a top 10 player.Id take Durant any day over Roy

  • http://www.glidehoyas.blogspot.com Kent

    Roy is a better fit with the Lakers i’m sure this is what Kobe mean, please know the game!

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ niQ

    I seen KD pull some pretty nice passes lately, hopefully this is him expanding his game. But yea, the ONLY knock I have on Roy is that he never gets to play a full season.

  • http://gregoden.com roybot

    People just look at the stats and say Roy is exactly like Joe Johnson rate him as a player by his stats, but if you actually watch Blazer games you will see all the intangibles that make Roy so unique as a player.

  • bradley

    KD is the youngest scoring champ ever, younger than KOBE, WILT, MIKE. Yall are hating,
    btw you have to be on the court to be a tough matchup something ROY cant do, maybe if he took better care of himself hed be on the court more. Great players yall are hatting on KD to hard

  • bradley

    LOL at the DONNEL” -first of all kobe doesn’t guard the lbj’s, wades, and durants (or, at least, until the closing minutes of the 4th when they are tired and then he will ‘take over’ from ron)- whats your point? i dnt think you play much basketball. During a game sometimes you gotta switch on the play for whatever reason, I no this is hard for you to take in but just something to think about. LOL to you portland fans who think injuries are all about luck

  • jwood

    Brandon Roy > Kevin Durrant… NOT A QUESTION AT ALL.

  • http://google c_cantrell

    uhh he doesnt guard KD so y is are yal makin it sound like he is dissin him? he guards roy

  • marc

    I find what Kobe is saying agreeable but can someone please explain to me how kevin durant is hyped if he is a proven scorer?

  • boomagoo

    i believe ron artest said the same thing about Brandon Roy after the rockets played the blazers in the playoffs. it is a shame that the media doesn’t bother with anything on the west coast that isn’t laker related.

  • Rojo85

    First Ron Artest said it, not Kobe Bryant is saying it; Brandon Roy is the toughest guy in the league for either one of them to guard. Nobody said that Durant was a bad player… in fact, nobody even mentioned his name. For the haters to say that Durant is way better than Roy is just an uninformed opinion. If the Blazers had as much media exposure as OKC then people would see what a great player Roy is. Roy would average 30 on the Thunder too if Durant weren’t there. They don’t have much else to work with after Durant.

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