Kevin Durant could finish his career as the NBA's greatest scorer in league history. Durant is the 1st player to accomplish 4 scoring titles during a 5 year period. No other player has done that since Michael Jordan won 7 straight scoring titles during the 87-93 seasons. His 27.4 season career average is currently 3rd of all time trailing the greats of Wilt Chamberlain with 30.07 and Michael Jordan with 30.12 career scoring averages during the season.
Durant has all the tools (he is 6'10, has a 7'6 wingspan and can score from anywhere on the court) to eclipse Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the NBA's all-time scoring leader. Jabbar retired with 38,387 points after 20 seasons with 24.6 points per game.
Durant averaged 23.6 points in high school, 25.8 points during his college career and now 27.1 points in the NBA.
During the 2014-2014 when he captured his first MVP award, Durant averaged his career best (32.0) points per game.
For 23 seasons, the NBA have only five players with more than 32.0 points per game – Michael Jordan (92/93) with 32.6 points per game, Allen Iverson (33.01), Tracy McGrady (32.09) and I already mention Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant.
If I go through NBA history only 14 players had seasons with 32.0 pts per game – Wilt Chamberlain (x 7), Michael Jordan (x 5), Elgin Baylor (x 2), George Gervin (x 2) and Rick Barry, Kobe Bryant, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bob McAdo0, Bernard King, Tiny Archibald, Nate Archibald, Allen Iverson, Tracy McGrady and Kevin Durant (x 1).
How Kevin Durant can realistically end up as the #1 scorer of all-time
Durant has to stay healthy for him to accomplish this mark. He missed some time dealing with a foot injury, especially during the 2014-2015 season, when he played only 27 games. The special thing about Durant is that he can dominate while using his athleticism for now. When he starts to lose that athleticism he could still dominate with his shooting ability. For example guys like Ray Allen, Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowitzki were able to produce for teams as they got older just because of their abilities to shoot the basketball. Also, with Durant size, and wingspan he could produce and play to the age of 40 if he wanted to.
"His ability to score the ball is obviously up there with the greatest to ever play," James said on the prospect of Durant replacing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the Association's all-time leading point-piler, per ESPN.com's Dave McMenamin. "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."
Entering the 2016-2017 season, Durant is trailing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar by 20,821 points. If he can put in about 1900 points per season (23.17 per game) he could pass Jabbar by the end of his 20th season. Durant would be around 38 years old at that stage of his career. As I said, Durant must stay healthy for him to play that long. Only 5 players in league history have played at least 20 seasons - Robert Parish (21), Kevin Willis (21), Kevin Garnett (21), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (20) and Kobe Bryant (20). Kevin has the physical gifts and volume scoring ability to last 20 years in this league and earn a place on that list. However, Durant must maintain his scoring average (27.3), while playing in at least 70+ games to have a shot at the scoring mark.
Kevin has the physical gifts and volume scoring ability to last 20 years in this league and earn a place on that list. However, Durant must maintain his scoring average (27.3), while playing in at least 70+ games to have a shot at the scoring mark.
As of now, realizing all that must go right for Durant just to pass Abdul-Jabbar just doesn't mean very much. However, if there's a player right now capable of breaking Abdul-Jabbar's scoring record it's Kevin Durant. The 55 games missed during the 2014-2015 season pushed that projection back at least one year, and that's without thinking about future injuries. None of us know if Durant will catch Jabbar or not. A lot of things must go his way for him to achieve that. Yet, we discuss Durant in this category because when you're 6'10, can score from anywhere, and capable of averaging 30 points per game you have a shot at the league's all-time scoring record.
One of the biggest problem right now for Kevin Durant is because he is playing for the Warriors. They had 73 wins (2015-16) and if they have a lead with 20 points, Kevin Durant will not play in the 4th quarter like Stephen Curry last season.
The best option could be if Kevin Durant stayed in Oklahoma City Thunder, but he selected to win a ring instead to become the best NBA all-time scoring leader.