Friday, November 1st, 2013 at 11:05 am  |  40 responses

Andrei Kirilenko Says Durant and Kobe are Harder to Guard Than LeBron

According to Andrei Kirilenko, LeBron James’ unselfishness makes him a slightly easier cover than, say, Kobe Bryant or Kevin Durant (who are much more interested in scoring.) Per the NY Post: “So as Kirilenko is set to make his Nets debut Friday night in the team’s home opener against the two-time defending champion Heat, he was asked whether LeBron James is the toughest player he has ever been asked to take on. ‘He’s definitely one of those guys who is tough to guard,’ Kirilenko said after Thursday’s practice. ‘I wouldn’t say he’s the toughest to guard 1-on-1, but he’s definitely in that category.’ So, if not James, then who? ‘For me, personally? I would say Kevin Durant and Kobe [Bryant], because they’re very motivated to play with the ball,’ Kirilenko said. ‘LeBron is way unselfish, and he will pass it as soon as the guy is open. Kevin and Kobe, unless the guy is wide open, like wide open and ready to shoot, they will keep going at you. They’ll keep going at you. That’s why it makes it harder to play against those guys.’ Kirilenko, who has been dealing with back spasms since playing in the second preseason game against Detroit on Oct. 12, went through a complete workout Thursday during practice and said he should be ready to go Friday night against the Heat.”

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  • Tobias Fernandez

    I completely agree with AK47.

  • Karl

    So what he’s really saying is this:
    LeBron will most likely win you the game with his high bball IQ and finding the open man, but he’s still a tough 1 on 1 assignment.
    Kobe and KD don’t have the vision or passing instincts Lebron do, therefore I have to work harder to defend them, because they take more shots and have a higher usage.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    this is not the first time a player has used “harder to guard” to explain, “more exhausting”
    the question, if it were to be asked, should be, “which player is harder to throw off his game”

  • JibbsIsBallin

    Yep pretty much sums it up. Going to be an exciting game tonight. Since its regular season, we’ll get to see the normal emotion come out of these two teams. I just really want to see Lebron dunk on Terry again.

  • shockexchange

    The Shock Exchange thinks average chicks are harder to date than Jayne Kennedy … as if he could ever ACTUALLY date Jayne Kennedy.

  • bike

    I don’t doubt Durant would be a nightmare to guard. Way too quick and long. But the last guy I would want to take a charge from would be LeBron.

  • thebossman15

    lebron fans will always find a way to put someone else’s comments in favor of lebron huh, i guess you could try and put forth that argument towards durant but when it comes to kobe, i ll take 5 rings and a 5 assist per game career average(along with being the best 1 on 1 player) over a guy who will supposedly “win you the game with his high bball IQ and find the open man” anyday

  • Karl

    and kobe fans will always find a way to argue how kobe is somehow better. lol at you. I keep it real and know who’s better. I’m not a lebron fan. KD is the only player in Lebron’s league.

  • shawnkemp4prez

    As always, I chuckle, but you seriously need to update your dimepiece lineup. Jayne Kennedy and Lola Falana are a bit…seasoned, shall we say? Thirty years ago, though, I would definitely smell what you’re stepping in lol

  • thebossman15

    lol, i guess kobe haters need a place to vent and slamonline ive noticed happens to be that place, just know what you think isnt common belief man, and your right KD is in lebrons league, both extremely overhyped, KD moreso however(see last years playoffs) dude hasnt proven shit other than the fact that he can score, so can melo, and with way more versatility i might add(he actually has a post game), but nobody argues that he is one of the best players in the league.

    Besides your just a random guy on this website whos opinion means nothing more than the opinions of the espn analysts..I’ll take it from MJ let alone many of the other greats that argue kobe is better than lebron, besides why do lebron fans seem to give MJ’s opinion no merit lmao, you think he doesn’t know the game but only knows how to play it? smh

  • therichardkirby

    KD is NOT in Lebron’s league.

  • Dagger

    Well this quote won’t get misinterpreted or anything . . .

  • i_ball

    Actually how old is the SE?

  • shockexchange

    shawnkemp4prez You pick any current dime pieces and SE bets Lola Falana, Jayne Kennedy, Pam Grier, Lynda Carter or Linsay Wagner (Bionic Woman) in their prime would put them to shame. Now go run tell that homeboy!

  • shockexchange

    Old enough to hand out “that fiddy.”

  • LP @ThisisEther

    Stop. He’s not saying this at all.

    Everybody knows Lebron WILL NOT force the issue to PERSONALLY score on someone, if his back is not completely against the wall. This makes him easier to guard than KB and KD.

    Now sure, if Lebron asserts himself like those 2 to PERSONALLY score, then of course, he would be the hardest to guard.

  • jessedogg

    From reading your paragraph/sentence, I have come to the conclusion that you may be mentally challenged.

  • jessedogg

    Update: From reading all of your post, I have come to the conclusion that you are most definitely mentally challenged.

  • spit hot fiyah

    i like kirilenko, but this is probably not something that u want to say the day before u are going to play lebron after he lost to the worst team in the league

  • pposse

    i agreee, but kind of don’t. Maybe the best way to defend Lebron is to force him to score points and not play team ball. Not enough teams put him in that position. Kirlenko calling him maybe will distract lebron and have him try and put on a show instead of winning the game.

  • LakeShow

    In many way’s he’s right. Read it. A guy that is looking to kill you by doing the scoring himself is harder indivisually to guard than the guy who is looking to pass.

    With that said, LeBron is still better overall, he is just easier to guard from an “attempting to score” perspective.

    In many ways you could argue he’s harder to guard because you can’t stop his passing.

    It’s in the eye of the beholder.

  • Dichotomous Rex

    there actually all in the same league…

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  • Busta213

    Why would you say “supposedly” as if bron didnt just win the last 2 titles?
    To be fair to you though, Karl’s comment was more than a little biased!

  • spit hot fiyah

    kirilenko probably reads dostoyevski, deep thinker. he is baiting lebron to go for 50 while loosing

  • pposse

    yes yes yes! and then during the post game lebron will refer to his teammates as the new look cavaliers…kirelenko will be in the bk locker room with his reading glasses on, flipping thru chapter 13 of dostoyevski

  • Max

    Was just about to say the same thing lol.

  • Guest

    Actually he is.

  • Max

    Actually he is…

  • shutup

    Dostoevsky is an author, not a book…..nvm.

  • ll dboone ll

    LeBron has the third highest scoring average of all time. He has as many 2000 point seasons as Kobe. Year for year his scoring numbers are better than kd. He wins…

  • The Seed

    Kirilenko is right, if not for Spurs choking the NBA Finals away. Lebron would be 1-3 in NBA Finals. Lebron in the NBA Finals was awful, until game 7. Lebron is easier to guard, he can’t shoot very well, still shaky and his left hand still needs work. He puts his shoulder down when driving, trying to run cats over. Thanks Kirilenko, I have been saying this for years.


    No, I think he explained who he felt was more difficult to guard by choosing the two players who are most difficult to guard. He has experience:


  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    oh is that it? you are comparing him guarding Kobe in one huge game….or how about Durant? did he have 57 on Kirilenko?
    i’m cool with taking the words he spoke….for what they mean.

  • Conor
  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Playoff games…..

  • efoibweof

    kobrick in the finals

    2000 – 36% shooting
    2001 – 41,5% shooting
    2004 – 38% shooting
    2010 – 40.5% shooting

  • Ross Fawcett

    LeBron got his ass handed to him two games in a row. He was swatted by paul peirce. He was tired from facing the bulls because bulls are the best team in the league.

  • nbk

    Playoff games…..

  • Lebrick

    And yet they all resulted in Titles! Hmmm….Ya Lebrons only skill being he can drive and dunk. If Kobe was 6’2, he would still have the footwork and shooting ability to be as good as he is at 6’6. Make Lebron 6’2 and you’d see his ass on the ground cause his power dunks would never happen. And that’s 90% of LBJs game!