Kevin Durant is lighting up the NBA playoffs this year, averaging 32.0 PPG on 55.0% shooting from the field. After missing the entire 2020 season due to an Achilles injury, the 11-time All-Star has bounced back with a vengeance. With Durant leading the way, the Brooklyn Nets look like the favorites for the NBA championship this year.
With Durant's incredible offensive making headlines, it is clear he has solidified himself as one of the greatest offensive players of all time. But where does he tank among the best scorers ever? His 4 scoring titles are the third-most in NBA history alongside Allen Iverson and George Gervin. We have never seen a player close to 7-feet tall with the skill that Durant has, and that is why he is a top-4 scorer of all time.
Wilt Chamberlain, the man with 7 scoring titles, is not considered a better scorer because he played in a very different era where he was simply the strongest and tallest player in the league. In NBA history, only Allen Iverson, Kobe Bryant, and Michael Jordan are considered better scorers than Kevin Durant.
Allen Iverson vs. Kevin Durant
Scoring Titles: 4 vs. 4
Highest PPG Season: 33.0 PPG (2006) vs. 32.0 PPG (2014)
40-Point Games: 79 vs. 58
50-Point Games: 11 vs. 6
60-Point Games: 1 vs. 0
The greatest little man to have ever played the game, Allen Iverson was a more dominant scorer than Kevin Durant. Iverson has an advantage in more 40, 50, and 60- point games and has a higher career PPG season. Iverson was a far more aggressive scorer than Durant and wanted to take and make every available shot. Durant's willingness to defer to his teammates might be his downfall in this comparison.
Allen Iverson was able to carry an average Philadelphia 76ers team to the NBA Finals due to his incredible scoring output, and he was relentless at attacking the paint and taking contact. Durant lets the game come to him while Iverson takes it, which gives The Answer the edge.
Kobe Bryant vs. Kevin Durant
Scoring Titles: 2 vs. 4
Highest PPG Season: 35.4 PPG (2006) vs. 32.0 PPG (2014)
40-Point Games: 122 vs. 58
50-Point Games: 25 vs. 6
60-Point Games: 6 vs. 0
For some very odd reason, Kobe Bryant only has 2 scoring titles in comparison to Durant's 4. But when looking at the greatest offensive explosions, Kobe has the edge in most 40, 50, and 60-point games. The Black Mamba was a ruthless scorer who once dropped 81 points in a single game. His 81 point game was special because his team was losing and Bryant won the game against the Toronto Raptors single-handedly.
Bryant was also a star who took the game by the scruff of the neck. Everyone in the building knew Bryant was taking all the shots and for good reason, he had the best chance of scoring. Bryant doesn't have Durant's size, but he was the most skilled guard in the post and had a go-to fadeaway jumper. Durant may have more scoring titles, but Bryant was capable of going off for all-time great scoring performances which gives the Lakes legend the edge.
Michael Jordan vs. Kevin Durant
Scoring Titles: 10 vs. 4
Highest PPG Season: 37.1 PPG (1987) vs. 32.0 PPG (2014)
40-Point Games: 173 vs. 58
50-Point Games: 31 vs. 6
60-Point Games: 4 vs. 0
It is always hard to debate any player against Michael Jordan because the GOAT has the most accolades in NBA history. In terms of scoring, Durant pales in comparison when looking at the raw numbers and stats. Jordan won an unbelievable 10 scoring titles over his career, which is the most ever by a player ahead of Wilt Chamberlain with 7. For 10 straight years, Jordan was the most dominant scorer in the NBA and he proved it by winning 6 NBA titles.
Durant had the size to shoot over any defender, but he doesn't have Jordan's hunger for destroying his competition. Michael Jordan had perfect intangibles, a go-to fadeaway jumper, and the most athleticism for a shooting guard ever. Michael could win games by scoring every time when the game plan didn’t work, something Durant doesn't like to do. Much like Iverson and Bryant, Jordan took the game by the neck and that makes him the better scorer than Durant and the best scorer ever.