While over several dozen NBA players have scored 20,000 or more career points, Golden State Warriors phenom Kevin Durant did so in a special way Wednesday night. Near the tail end of the first half, the elite scorer became the second youngest player ever to accomplish the feat.
The youngest player to ever reach the milestone is yet another current NBA superstar: LeBron James. Thus, it is certainly safe to say that Durant’s milestone places him in prestigious company.
According to Joseph Zucker of Bleacher Report, the Warriors’ small forward is only the fifth player to do so before turning 30 years of age. The three others are legends Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, and Kobe Bryant. Although Durant, as ESPN transcribes, never pictured this occurring, Wednesday night’s game provides a perfect example as to why the feat is all too believable.
Needing 25 points to achieve the milestone, KD managed to punch his ticket into the 20K club in the first half. The four-time scoring champion finished the ballgame with 40, missing only four out of 18 attempts from the field. While such numbers are not necessarily anomalies for Durant, they insinuate that he very well may just be getting started. That is quite a scary thought if there ever was one given that he is amidst his 11th campaign.
Likewise, it demonstrates how pure and dynamic of a scorer he is. Durant simply knows how to put the rock through the hoop — it is literally second nature. Basketball-Reference grants just about all the evidence one needs to back up this claim even further. Kevin Durant has never averaged less than 20.3 points over the course of a season. It is worth mentioning that the 20.3 mark is what he executed as a rookie. A rookie.
While 20,000 may seem mighty impressive, one cannot help but wonder where Durant could wind up when he decides to call it a career. It is a most curious thought on the grounds that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar accumulated over 38,000 points during his two decades in the league. That being said, Sam Amick of USA TODAY Sports asked the wiry veteran if he thinks becoming the all-time scoring king is within the realm of reason.
“I mean it would be cool to do that, but I’m not concerned about that, man. If I start focusing on that, it’s going to take my focus on what I really want to do. But for me as a player, though, like even if (that sort of mark) is in the back of my mind I know how easy it is to get off what I want to do. I know myself. That’s what I’m saying.”
It will be interesting to see where Durant could end up in the grand scheme of things. Games like the one on Wednesday prove he still has a lot of ice left in his veins.
Notwithstanding the possibilities, it is indubitable that the Slim Reaper is probably more concerned with winning as opposed to personal statistics. It is likely why he took Amick’s question with a grain of salt. Basketball is a team sport and Durant’s primary goal at the time being is to lead his team back to the NBA Finals.
Given that he is not only scoring the ball well, but is averaging seven boards and over five dimes a night, another Finals appearance is not implausible. He is doing just about all one could ask for from a player. Therefore, a lot more success for KD and the Warriors may very well be lurking on the horizon.