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Thunder Notebook: Kevin Durant was bashful when initially meeting Kobe Bryant

Oklahoman Modified: February 24, 2009 at 6:33 pm •  Published: February 24, 2009
Kevin Durant said he grew up admiring Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant’s basketball abilities. But the Thunder forward was taken aback when Bryant offered to help him in any way he could when Durant went to USA Basketball camp soon after he was drafted in 2007.

"He was the first guy to say something to me,” Durant said. "He kind of took me under his wing a little bit. I can’t thank him enough for that. It was just fun being around him.”

Durant just didn’t have the courage to take Bryant up on his offer and ask the star guard for advice.

"I was a little nervous,” Durant said. "It was Kobe Bryant, and I was a young rookie. I just couldn’t talk to him.”

Thunder forward Malik Rose doesn’t figure to play many minutes in the team’s final 26 games, but coach Scott Brooks said he spoke with the power forward Monday morning and told him three things he’s looking for Rose to bring.

"I said I want his leadership on and off the court,” Brooks said. "I want his professionalism, how he approaches the game. And I also want him to communicate with our young guys. Our young guys listen. They want to get better, and they will value Malik’s experiences. He’s seen it, all and it’s important for him to share those experiences with them.


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