LM Otero/Associated Press
LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain and Kobe Bryant are the only other players to score 20,000 points before the age of 30.
Bleacher Report @BleacherReport
KD joins an exclusive club. https://t.co/r3N07nCEYE
The milestone points came on a jumper with 1:40 left in the first half. The Warriors shared a replay of the shot on Twitter:
Golden State Warriors @warriors
His 25th point of the night gave him 20,000 points for his career. Congrats Kevin Durant! #NBAVote https://t.co/KOSIrL5jkQ
During a break in the game, the Warriors fans in Oracle Arena showered the eight-time All-Star with cheers, via The Athletic’s Anthony Slater:
Anthony Slater @anthonyVslater
Extended standing O for Kevin Durant hitting the 20K mark https://t.co/GfJzfC7uum
Prior to the game, Durant reflected on what the achievement would mean, per ESPN.com’s Chris Haynes:
“Man, that’s some great company, and there’s so many names I never thought I’d be in the same conversation with. But to know — to have it in numbers, in black and white — to know that you belong in that group is pretty special to me. I’m telling you, man, it’s never been a goal of mine to count how many points I have. That’s not why I play the game. To be under 30 and do it, that’s special to me too. You play in this league for so long, and having an opportunity to do something like this at this age, you just can’t take it for granted, because there’s not too many players on that list.”
Although he hit 20,000 points, Durant needs 42 more to climb up the all-time scoring chart. He sits 44th in league history, with Antawn Jamison occupying the 43rd spot. Among active players, Durant is eighth in scoring, most closely trailing Joe Johnson (20,166 points).
By the time the 2017-18 season wraps up, Durant could overtake Hall of Famers David Robinson, George Gervin, Bob Pettit and Mitch Richmond in the record books. Pettit is 36th in all-time scoring with 20,880 points, and that’s a more than achievable gap to close if Durant continues averaging around 25.9 points per game.
It will be fascinating to see how much Durant’s move to Golden State will impact his ability to be one of the league’s best all-time scorers from a statistical perspective.
Entering Wednesday, he was averaging two fewer points with the Warriors than he had in his nine years with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Over the span of an NBA career, those two points per game add up.
Of course, Durant will be more than happy to sacrifice his shot at Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s scoring record if it means adding another NBA title or two to his resume.