Kevin Durant‘s first season with the Warriors was, by most any measure, a success. He posted incredible numbers, won a championship, and earned NBA Finals MVP honors. However, in the middle of his tremendous season he was derailed by a knee injury that kept him out for much of the second half of the season, only returning just prior to the playoffs.
When Durant got back on the court, it didn’t take long for him to get back into the flow of everything, and the Warriors cruised through the playoffs on a 16-1 tear to the title. It wasn’t simply a matter of Durant walking back out there and being ready to go, though. As documented in his “Still KD” web series, Durant’s work with Steve Nash, part of the Warriors’ staff, played a big role in his return to form.
You can see the part with Durant and Nash at about the 4:45 mark, as Durant raves about working with someone with as sharp a basketball mind as Nash to help him find little improvements to make in his game. Durant said he and others on the Warriors have begun calling Nash “Yoda” because of the wisdom he imparts in those sessions.
It’s incredible (and a bit terrifying) that for someone as talented and great as Durant, there are still things he can find to tweak and get better at. He references in particular how Nash helped him improve on his dribble pull-ups and ball-handling in the pick-and-roll game — two things Nash was great at as a player.
Nash returns the love for Durant by gushing about his abilities for his size and how he’s a type of player we’ve never seen before. It’s clear that there’s mutual admiration between the two and that helps drive them both to find things to continue working on to take Durant to ever increasing levels of greatness.