James Worthy says Kevin Durant is the player who most resembles him in today’s NBA

Brad Sullivan
3 Min Read

Los Angeles Lakers legend and Hall of Famer James Worthy indicated during an online question-and-answer session that the current player who most resembles him is Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant.

“A lot of people thought I’d be like Jeff Green,” Worthy said. “I didn’t think so. I kind of compared myself to Kevin Durant. Not that much of a prolific scorer, but I had some of the same skill sets. There’s only one James Worthy.”

Worthy played 12 seasons for the Lakers and was part of three NBA title teams with the organization. During the last of those championships in 1988, Worthy was named Finals MVP.

In his 12 seasons, Worthy showed his abilities on both sides of the ball by averaging 17.6 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.1 steals per game.

For his efforts, Worthy was named to the annual All-Star Game seven times. Even more accolades awaited him after his career came to an end, as he was selected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team.

Worthy’s reference to Green, a forward for the Denver Nuggets, might seem odd to some fans. That’s because despite a lengthy career, Green isn’t destined to become a Hall of Famer.

Over the course of Green’s career, he’s played for 11 different franchises and averaged 12.5 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.5 assists per contest.

As Worthy noted, his own scoring production doesn’t match up to Durant’s career average of 27.3 points per game. In addition, Durant’s career averages for rebounds and assists are higher, while his average for steals matches Worthy’s.

The skill sets that Worthy mentioned went unspecified, although his durability during his career is something that Durant doesn’t exactly have. In all but one season, Worthy played in at least 75 regular season games, and in a number of those seasons, he also saw extensive playoff action.

In contrast, Durant has had issues in recent years simply staying healthy. He missed the entire 2019-20 season after blowing out his Achilles and is currently sidelined by an ankle injury.

Durant’s stint with the Suns marks the fourth different team he’s played for, another difference between him and Worthy.

When his career does end, Durant will eventually become a Hall of Famer like Worthy. Perhaps at that time, a closer comparison between the two players will take place.

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Brad is a freelance writer for LakersDaily.com, who can clearly recall watching Lakers games in 1972 as they captured the first of their 11 Los Angeles-based titles. The franchise's evolution into a beloved and iconic franchise among its fan base since that memorable year allows for a wider perspective to be a part of his writing about the team's current fortunes.