Giannis Antetokounmpo lavished his admiration and praise on Kevin Durant, labelling the Brooklyn Nets superstar a "once in a generation talent".
The pair squared off in the Milwaukee Bucks' 117-114 win over the Nets on Sunday, with two-time reigning NBA MVP Antetokounmpo posting 49 points, with eight rebounds and four assists.
Durant – a former MVP – returned fire with 42 points of his own for the Nets, along with 10 rebounds as Antetokounmpo hailed the two-time champion.
"You have to appreciate players like that, because you don't see them often," said Antetokounmpo, who is six years younger than Durant.
"It's one of a generation talent, and, personally, I try to steal as much as I can from his game and as much as I'm capable of doing, because there’s some stuff that only he can do.
"But he's a great player to watch and growing up I always looked up to him."
Antetokounmpo continued: "What he does is unbelievable. Being 6'11, being able to shoot over everybody and the way he can handle the ball and get to his spot to rise up is unbelievable."
Antetokounmpo and Durant both may have scored in the 40s on Sunday, but the former insisted the game plan was not to go head-to-head against a player he calls "one of the game's greatest scorers".
"I was not going back and forth with KD," Antetokounmpo said. "There's nobody in this world who can go back and forth with KD.
"He's one of the greatest scorers to ever play this game. That's not the game plan you want to go against. You've got to do it as a unit."
The game also marked Antetokounmpo's return from a minor ankle injury picked up against the Houston Rockets on Thursday, although he said he played through pain.
"It felt good," he said. "Obviously I stepped on Kelly Olynyk's foot and in the moment I was in a lot of pain.
"My personality and how I am, you've got to grow your toughness and play through pain. I could still play the game and keep going, even though I couldn't step on it at all the first time.
"The team wanted me to take a break and get healthy and not have something keep lingering and lingering.
"Today I felt good. I couldn't speed up as much as I wanted to. I had dominance and I was able to get to my spots. I didn't feel as much pain."
Eastern Conference rivals the Nets (43-22) and Bucks (40-24), who are likely to face off in the playoffs, will meet again on Tuesday.