Bryant also was on Team USA and last August said he doesn't believe Durant fully realizes he might someday become the game's top scorer.
“No,” said a chuckling Bryant, “and I'm damn sure not going to say it.”
Abdul-Jabbar played 20 seasons (1969-89), retired at age 41 and had a career scoring average of 24.6. Durant is in his sixth season and has a career scoring average of 26.5.
Now 65, Abdul-Jabbar attended the Thunder's 102-90 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Monday night at US Airways Center and smiled when asked if he thought Durant might someday catch him.
“I think he certainly has the talent,” Abdul-Jabbar said. “It all depends on if he stays healthy and is the focus of the offense, because he can score from anywhere on the court.”
Abdul-Jabbar also noted Durant's overall progress each season.
“He's not just in it to put up numbers,” Abdul-Jabbar said. “He wants to win and understands what the game's about. That always makes me feel better.”
Everyone agrees Durant has a long ways to go to catch Abdul-Jabbar, who led the NBA in scoring his first three seasons, but never thereafter.
“Obviously, Kevin's off to a good start,” Thunder teammate Nick Collison said. “He's got all the tools. There's never been a player like him with his size and his ability to handle the ball and play on the perimeter, and he's better posting the ball now. He's got to stay healthy and play a long time, but if there's a current guy who's got a shot, he'd be it, for sure.”
Point guard Russell Westbrook didn't hesitate when asked if Durant could finish at No. 1.
“Oh, he definitely has the ability to be able to do that,” said Westbrook, who also is 24 and has collected 6,772 career points himself. “He (Durant) works hard. He works on his game.
“Plus, he's 7-foot (tall) as it is, which doesn't make it any easier for a defender.”
Thunder vs. Nuggets
When: 7 p.m. Wednesday
Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena
TV: Fox Sports Oklahoma (Cox 37/HD 722, DirecTV 679, Dish 416, U-Verse 754/HD 1754)
Radio: WWLS 98.1-FM, WWLS 640-AM
Three things to know
* Much like the Thunder, Denver's starters have been healthy all season and have just four missed starts.
* One of the league's top defenders, Kenneth Faried is averaging a double-double in just 29.8 minutes per game.
*The Nuggets are in the midst of playing 15 of 18 at home. OKC and Denver will meet again Sunday in Denver.