When Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was done with his ninth season in the NBA, he had cracked the 20,000-point mark on his way to the most prolific scoring career in league history. At the rate Kevin Durant is going this season, he’ll be around 17,500 points for his career following nine seasons. While that seems like a pretty big gap for Durant to make up if he’s ever going to think about becoming the all-time scoring leader, LeBron James says it’s possible.
The Cleveland Cavaliers star says the Oklahoma City Thunder star has a skill set at his size that we just haven’t seen in NBA history and he’s right. Durant is about three years younger now than Abdul-Jabbar was when he was at this point in his career, so while Durant is behind him when it comes to experience, he makes up for it in youth. It would take a lot of health and continued excellence for a very long time, but LeBron is on board saying it’s within reach. From ESPN:
The way LeBron James sees it, Kevin Durant’s skill set and physical talents make for an unprecedented combination in the 70-year history of the NBA.
“He’s a 7-footer with 6-foot ballhandling skills and a jump shot,” James said after a Cleveland Cavaliers shootaround Thursday morning in preparation for a game against Durant’s Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday night. “And athleticism. It’s never been done in our league. Never had a guy that’s 7 foot, can jump like that, can shoot like that, handle the ball like that. So it sets him apart.”
James said Durant could have a chance to unseat Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the game’s all-time leading scorer by the end of his career.
“His ability to score the ball is obviously up there with the greatest to ever play,” James said. “I know that’s not in his memory bank right now, him trying to help the team get better and better, but long term he definitely can challenge that.”
Another key is how Durant’s free agency plays out. If Durant decides to leave the Thunder and goes somewhere that doesn’t have an elite scorer, maybe that consistently puts Durant at 30 points per game for an extended stretch. If he stays in OKC with Russell Westbrook, that may take down some of his chances of being the league’s leading scorer because they do such a good job of sharing the scoring load together.
The biggest thing about Durant or any player doing this is health and longevity with their excellence. Durant missed 55 games with a foot injury last season that may have cost him around 1,500 points. Because of that, you lose out on prime scoring years to attack such a seemingly unattainable goal.
Courtesy : CBS Sports