The most difficult thing about running a race, is trying not to get in anyone’s way. The best runners are able to do the same without getting distracted by other competitors, while still finding their own personal path through the course.
“I just try to run my own race” is a quote by the American runner Meb Keflezighi. He said this as he was about to win the 2017 Boston Marathon on April 16, 2017.
In the NBA’s MVP competition, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kevin Durant are expected to be 1-2 as the season progresses. On Jan. 7, their respective teams, the Milwaukee Bucks and Brooklyn Nets, faced off, with The Greek Freak and Co. winning 121-109.
Giannis and KD are already familiar with one other, having faced off in the Eastern Conference playoffs last season, with Milwaukee emerging victorious.
When asked whether he gets up for his matchups with Durant following the Bucks’ most recent victory, Antetokounmpo went all Giannis on everyone.
The Milwaukee Bucks defeated Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets thanks to Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets tries to box out Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo. | Steven Ryan /Getty Images
On December 7, the Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Brooklyn Nets 121-109 in Brooklyn (which meant no Kyrie Irving). The Bucks, on the other hand, were missing their point guard, Jrue Holiday, who has been placed on the league’s health and safety list.
In 27 minutes, Antetokounmpo tallied 31 points, seven rebounds, and nine assists. Five other Bucks players scored in double digits, including Bobby Portis, who had a double-double with 25 points and 12 rebounds.
Durant finished with 29 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists. Even without Holiday, he didn’t have the same level of support as Giannis. James Harden led the team with 16 points, followed by Nic Claxton and Cam Thomas with 14 each.
Other than that, no other Brooklyn player scored in double digits.
It was Antetokounmpo and his teammates against. Durant, just as it was during last year’s playoffs, and despite another brave effort from KD, the Bucks won again.
Despite the setback, Giannis acknowledged Durant’s play, repeating what he said about the Nets’ star last year.
When questioned about his one-on-one fights with KD, the Greek Freak had a vintage Giannis response.
“KD is the best player in the world… he has showed it in the past, he’s showing it right now… I’m just trying to get better.” pic.twitter.com/iUmN38QwBj
— Cassidy Hubbarth (@CassidyHubbarth) January 8, 2022
After his team’s 12-point victory in a nationally broadcast game on ESPN, Antetokounmpo was interviewed.
During Cassidy Hubbarth‘s interview, the two-time MVP was informed it was his seventh straight 30-point game against the Nets, the longest streak he has against a single opponent in his career.
Hubbarth noted that Antetokounmpo has previously referred to Durant as the greatest player on the planet, and then spoke about how personal his games with the Nets are for him.
Giannis responded to her inquiry in typical Giannis style:
It doesn’t bother me in the least. I’m only attempting to complete my own race. Trying to improve my own team. When you play Brooklyn, there’s obviously a lot of excitement in the air, but at the end of the day, I try to enjoy the game.
KD is the greatest player in the world; he’s shown it in the past, and he’s proving it again right now; all I’m trying to do is improve.
On facing Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets, Giannis Antetokounmpo said
Humility? Check. Are you taking pleasure in the present? Check. Is the team improving? Check. Is he attempting to improve? Check.
All of Giannis’ favorites. It’s not showy or thrilling, yet it’s still noteworthy in some strange sense. We may be desensitized to Antetokounmpo’s abilities as a player, but we’re still awestruck by his character.
Come playoff time, the two will almost certainly see one other more.
The “Brooklyn would have won” faction from last year’s playoffs has a sizable following. Harden fell down in Game 1 of the series after a minute, and Kyrie went down in Game 4.
Despite this, Durant almost single-handedly propelled his club over the eventual NBA champs.
As of Jan. 11, Brooklyn is ranked second in the East. Milwaukee is in fourth place. Unless something drastic happens (knock on wood), Giannis and KD will meet again in the playoffs.
It will be a struggle for 48 minutes in those contests. It will be absolute respect till the next 48 minutes arrive.
NBA.com provided all data.
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“I Just Try to Run My Own Race” is a sermon by Martin Luther King Jr. that talks about running your own race, not letting others dictate how you should live your life. Reference: run your own race sermon.
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