George Gervin was on First Take with He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named and that other guy and was asked about the comparisons between him and Kevin Durant.
“I think it’s quite accurate,” he said. “I think most people compare us because of our size … He can’t do a left hand and right hand hook shots, but once he adds that to his repertoire of shots, I think he’ll be much better than me.
“I cannot shoot another jumper and it count. But I see this kid and this kid’s tremendous ability. He can flat out play the game and he loves the game. Over the summertime he’s working to get better so that’s why I say his potential is scary.”
Gervin, who played at 6-7, 185 pounds, was then asked about Durant’s strength holding him back. To which he said is overrated.
“Oh that’s overrated,” Gervin said. “They talk about getting in the weight room and all that, you get in the weight room and those muscles get all tight and that jumper won’t go in.
Durant famously couldn’t bench 185 at the draft combine which prompted everyone to make a big deal about his basketball future. Obviously it hasn’t really mattered as KD is the best scorer in the game and one of the two best players in the entire world.
Gervin said you counter not having great strength by rounding out your overall game. By using both hands, by getting to the rim, by using an array of shots.
“All they got to work on is more variety of shots,” he said. “You know, work on that in-between shot. Don’t just depend on that 30-footer. He’s long enough to go to the hole, to use both hands, to shoot a high percentage. I shot 51 percent for my career and I had 26,500 points, so it wasn’t because I just shot jumpers, it was because of my ability to get to the hole and create opportunities with both hands.”
I’ve never totally liked the comparison of KD and Gervin, because it’s just putting KD with a guy that fits his frame. But Gervin wasn’t a very good shooter from the perimeter hitting just 27.1 percent from 3 for his career and only made a total of 122 career 3s. KD made 139 from distance just last season alone.
KD is just 24 and has a lot of points to score and a lot to achieve to officially be better than Gervin, but assuming the track remains unchanged, there’s no doubt that Durant will surpass Gervin as a player. And really, it’s more about the names ahead of Gervin that Durant could move past.