Kevin Durant: Why he could challenge Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's career scoring record

THE FUTURE — The face and silhouette of the NBA believes Kevin Durant can break the record if he’s stays healthy.
by Anthony Slater Published: May 13, 2014


photo - Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant (35) goes between Houston's Carlos Delfino (10) and Omer Asik (3) for a dunk during Game 4 in the first round of the NBA playoffs between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Houston Rockets at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas,Sunday, April 29, 2013. Oklahoma City lost 105-103. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant (35) goes between Houston's Carlos Delfino (10) and Omer Asik (3) for a dunk during Game 4 in the first round of the NBA playoffs between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Houston Rockets at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas,Sunday, April 29, 2013. Oklahoma City lost 105-103. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

“For someone that size to have the skill and ability that he has, it’s really remarkable,” West said. “I just don’t see people being able to cover him because of his versatility and shot-making ability. He’s not just a shooter, he’s a shot-maker, a shot-creator.”

Through seven seasons, Durant has 14,851 points, already placing him 132nd all-time. He scored 2,593 points this season, a career-high.

If he could average around 2,500 the next six years — an extremely tall task, but that’s what it’ll likely take during his prime years — he’d be up to nearly 30,000 by his 32nd birthday and 13th year in the league.

That would already put him at sixth all-time, behind only Abdul-Jabbar, Malone, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and Wilt Chamberlain.

From there, he’d have the latter stages of his career to accumulate around 9,000 more. A lot will depend on how he ages, but even when the athleticism fades, the shooting touch typically doesn’t. Abdul-Jabbar played until he was 41, averaging more than 1,000 points his last three years.

“I’m going out on a limb,” former NBA player Steve Smith recently said of Durant on TNT. “If he stays healthy, he can maybe catch Kareem.”

“Not Kareem. Not 38 stacks,” a stunned Shaquille O’Neal answered back, referring to thousands. “Thirty-four, not 38.”

For Durant, a daunting task that remains more than a decade away. But not an impossible one, based on what he’s already done and what the game’s legends are already saying about him.


by Anthony Slater
Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as NewsOK.com's lead sports blogger and web editor. A native Californian, Slater attended Sonoma State for two years before transferring to Oklahoma State in...
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