(Barry Gorsuch/NBAE Photo via Getty Images)
Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James made NBA history last season when he surpassed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to become the league’s all-time scoring leader. As each game went on, he gained more and more control over the record. However, on Friday night, another current player joined the ranks of scoring history, and that’s Phoenix Suns star Kevin Durant.
Durant has long been regarded as not only one of the most prolific scorers in NBA history, but possibly one of the most skilled scorers of all time. Injuries cost him a chance to truly join the all-time scoring charts, but even with a losing season and other major injuries, he still managed to carve out his place in history.
On Friday night, Durant passed Moses Malone and entered the top 10 on the all-time scoring list, becoming the second active player to enter the top 10. James was quick to express his support For the Suns superstar:
top 10! ! ! ! ! @KDTrey5 Congratulations🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥
— LeBron James (@KingJames) December 2, 2023
Durant and James have had their fair share of disputes over the years. They have been to the NBA Finals three times and have been a championship contender for most of their career. They had all the makings of a great rivalry but showed nothing but mutual respect on and off the court.
Durant now has time to continue his climb to the top of the all-time scoring list. His next obstacle is No. 9 Carmelo Anthony. Durant is 866 points behind Anthony. Judging from his current scoring average of 31.2 points per game, it should take him about 28 games to reach ninth place.
Durant is 35 years old, and it’s unclear how much he has left in the tank. But he’s still playing at an elite level, and when his career is over, he may find himself significantly higher on the all-time scoring list.
James calls it an honor to compete with Durant
James, especially this season, has made no secret of his praise for Durant. After the Lakers and Suns met earlier this regular season, James talked about what it means to compete with Durant.
“Obviously, our first home game of the season was against Phoenix and we talked about that conversation with the media after the game and how special it is always to play against Durant, one of the greatest players in the game. We’ve had many encounters over the course of our careers and we’ve had the opportunity to compete with him in the Olympics and we’ve both left our mark on the history of the sport. So, as I said, sharing the stage with him Talk is always special. Like I said, when we play against each other in the summer or throughout our careers, in the regular season and the playoffs. So, unbelievably talented guys, the best ever One of the best basketball players and it’s always an honor to play against him.”
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