After missing a grand total of just 16 games in eight seasons, the NBA’s reigning MVP suffered the first serious injury of his career last month.
Kobe Bryant got in touch with Kevin Durant to encourage him, and provided advice on how to bounce back strong after getting hurt.
“Kobe reached out to me at one point right after I got out of surgery,” Durant said on Tuesday. “We played a preseason game, and I was sitting on the sideline, and I was just wanting to get into the game. I just asked him, how’d he do it? What was his thought process? He just told me, he tried to learn the game as much as he can from the sideline and be the best teammate he can be and support all the guys.
“From a guy like Kobe that stood out to me, just knowing he’s at the top of his game, but always trying to get better in all aspects, I learned a lot just from that conversation. It was big for me.”
“Even though [Bryant’s] injury was worse than mine — he was out for longer — every time I don’t play, I still feel as though something is missing from yourself,” Durant said. “It was good to hear from him and put everything in perspective.”