Since entering the league, Kevin Durant has often complimented his older counterparts, noting that he watched and admired them while growing up.
Now, with Durant compiling such an impressive résumé through his first six-plus years, he is getting the same treatment from up-and-comers.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks' emerging 19-year-old rookie, is among those admirers, recently calling Durant his idol in a blog post he wrote for a Greek website.
“I have said many times that Durant is my idol,” Antetokounmpo wrote. “He is the player I watch the most. When I came out on the court for a workout, he was already there, shooting. Working. I stopped and watched him. He was deadly serious. I could see it in his face. He was not relaxed. He was warming up with tension. I felt a satisfaction, when I saw my idol, approaching basketball with such determination.”
FEELING IS MUTUAL
You can add Durant to the growing list of fans of Antetokounmpo, known as “The Greek Freak.”
The admiration is mutual.
“I like their rookie. I can't pronounce his name, but he plays extremely hard,” Durant said of Antetokounmpo. “He's long, athletic and he's probably the most skilled player on their team.”
Antetokounmpo is the youngest player in the NBA. He was selected by the Bucks with the 15th overall pick.
His nickname is derived from his massive size (he stands 6-foot-10 inches) and length, as well as his ability to play on the perimeter despite his size.
EDMOND SANTA FE CONNECTION
Two of the best athletes in Edmond Santa Fe history were in the building on Saturday night.
Ekpe Udoh, in his fourth year in the NBA, had two points and six rebounds for the Bucks.
And behind Milwaukee's bench was Brandon Weeden, the former Oklahoma State star and current Cleveland Browns quarterback.
STAT OF THE NIGHT
Serge Ibaka has 32 points and 37 rebounds combined in two games against the Bucks this season. He had 17 and 17 on Saturday.
The Thunder returns to the road this week, where it will face both of the Western Conference rivals that it met in the playoffs last year. Oklahoma City travels to Memphis on Tuesday and Houston on Thursday.