Quantcast
Wednesday, January 16th, 2013 at 4:20 pm  |  96 responses

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Says Kevin Durant Can Be the Best Scorer Ever


by Marcel Mutoni @ marcel_mutoni

In just six NBA seasons, Kevin Durant has already amassed 11,078 points. The 24-year old superstar has a long way to go to catch up with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who finished his 20-year Hall of Fame career with a mind-boggling 38,387 points.

The 65-year old Kareem believes KD has what it takes to reach the all-time mark, but cautions that it would be an incredibly difficult feat, even for someone even as gifted as Durant.

Per the Oklahoman:

Durant smiles and shakes his head at the mere thought. “I don’t know if I would say I’ll be the best scorer ever to play the game,” Durant said, “but if I keep working, you never know.”

“I think he certainly has the talent,” Abdul-Jabbar said. “It all depends on if he stays healthy and is the focus of the offense, because he can score from anywhere on the court.” Abdul-Jabbar also noted Durant’s overall progress each season. “He’s not just in it to put up numbers,” Abdul-Jabbar said. “He wants to win and understands what the game’s about. That always makes me feel better.”

Abdul-Jabbar walked away from the game at the age of 41, and had a career scoring average of 24.6 (Durant, by comparison, scores at a clip of 26.5.)

Certainly, no one doubts that Kevin Durant has the talent and ability to make a run at the career scoring record — longevity and health will be the greatest obstacles as he marches towards it.

  • Add a Comment
  • Share
  • RSS

Tags: , ,

  • Redd

    He could be, he’s a scoring machine I agree. If it implies anything else in the long run I have to disagree for the moment.

  • bike

    Definitely has a shot at being in the top five. He’s going to have to play a long, long time to surpass Kareem though.

  • LakeShow

    Best at scoring or the highest all time points leader?

  • Mohammed

    Best at scoring is debatable but I pretty sure you can make a good case for it especially since he also has a high field goal percentage so he’s not just a volume shooter. He also has an unstoppable sky hook.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Junior-Taylor/100003121138419 Junior Taylor

    Great question. Best at scoring? I think not. That has to go to either Wilt or MJ. Most points ever? Who knows, staying healthy and a desire to play past your prime is the key.

  • Max

    Key tip from KAJ, smoke some pot in the offseason!

  • pops

    I think Durant could play until he’s 37 or 38 and still average 20.

  • LakeShow

    Was that a KAJ thing?
    I haven’t heard that.
    If so, it was probably smoked during a meditation session at the top of some high mount with a group of alpaca farmers, so it’s a little different than the stoner down the street right? :)

  • The Seed

    What in the world, KAJ needs to stop smoking.

  • RedDragon10

    It was a “medicinal” thing.

  • https://twitter.com/jasontichenor Mr. Wet

    I think has a decent shot at playing a long time. The one thing he has that a lot of superstars lack, is he is a deadly shooter from long range. When he loses a step, he could be a spot up shooter for however long he wants

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Gilbert/100001749589586 Mike Gilbert

    Best at scoring should not go to Wilt. He would not have been near as dominant if he played today.

  • Caboose

    That is such an unfounded myth. Tell me, didn’t Shaq do just fine? Wilt could outlift Shaq and had a vertical higher than Dwight Howard’s. Wilt is always a victim of his time.

  • Caboose

    All around scorer: Jordan
    Volume scorer: Wilt
    Consistent scorer: Kareem

  • Caboose

    And what makes you say that?

  • Jay.K

    Top 5 SCORERS= 1.MJ, 2.Kobe, 3. Kareem, 4. Allen Iverson 5.Wilt/Gervin……these 5 put the ball in the hoop better than anyone ever. Durant will be in the tip 3 if hes healthy.

  • Bored

    laugh if you may.

    best scorer full stop: Jordan
    best all around scorer: Kobe (3 pointers)
    volume and consistent you right on the money, Wilt and KAJ

  • http://twitter.com/ec_lkhaa Will Lee

    I can be too. Just that my chance is 0.001% and Durant’s chance is higher.

  • su madre

    watch his game dude, hes a jumpshooter. ask mj thats the last thing to go.

  • Youngindy21

    He could be. Too bad that is all that he is good at. Plus his stats are a little inflated because he plays in the West where nobody plays defense.

  • Caboose

    Because so many shooters aged so well. Reggie Miller, Ray Allen, Mitch Richmond, Peja Stojakovic, Antoine Walker, Glen Rice, Chris Mullin, Dirk Nowitzki, Rick Barry, Dale Ellis, Mark Price. None of them averaged over 20 ppg past age 33. Do yourself a favor and look up their career stats before replying to this.

  • Caboose

    The 10 time scoring champ is inferior to the 2 time one? No, 3 point shooting does not make Kobe an all around better scorer than Jordan. Not even close.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Thank you!

    @disqus_oxoGJMLagc:disqus Caboose, who would you consider to be the best center ever and/or the greatest center ever?

    Best imo is Wilt; greatest imo is KAJ, and that’s my top 2. Hakeem would be third on my list.

  • Max

    Oh and Jordan Crawford has this title on lock.

  • Yi-Cheng Chen

    Let’s focus on being the best scorer ever than the championship.

  • shutup

    GTFOH, Dude was a monster in any era, if he played today he would be just as dominant on both ends.

  • shutup

    Shoulda just read what you posted and co-signed, I hate when people do that….

  • shutup

    Just had to try and throw Kobe in that convo smh……

  • shutup

    Your list is seriously flawed……

  • The Fury

    Hey don’t forget Alex English….see, dude is really underrated. Nobody notices/mentions this guy when scoring is the topic.

  • The Fury

    Lol…why did you include Antoine Walker in this group?? C’mon now Caboose. Dirk didn’t average over 20 past 33??…hmmm…let me check that…

  • kiddkidd

    Wilt does not belong in the top 5, very overrated and would not be nearly as dominant in todays game or even in the 90′s. The most pure and truest scorers ever are Michael, Kobe, Iverson, Gervin, English, Kareem and now Kevin Durant these guys are scorers who in their sleep could find a way to end up with 30 points every night.

  • Dagger

    Well, in Mike’s defense, he never said that Wilt wouldn’t be dominant; just not AS dominant. I sincerely doubt that Wilt would average 50 PPG by taking 40 shots/game (in his prime he shot between 50-60% from the field and from the FT line by the way; hardly stellar numbers for a centre). Nor would he grab between 20-30 RPG. The game’s pace has changed, its defenses (and offenses) are far more sophisticated, its athletes are much better, etc.

    I think that in today’s game, in his prime, Wilt on a good team with a normal pace would be sitting at around 25 PPG, with maybe 16 RPG. Awesome numbers, but no, not nearly as dominant statistically as he was in his time. He was not a better scorer than Jordan. But I do think that he was probably the best 5 of all time.

  • Dagger

    Don’t let flashy moves blind you. In no way was Iverson a better (more efficient, more dependable) scorer than Lebron, Durant, Wilt, Gervin, Bird, etc. More skilled? Maybe, than some of those guys, but definitely not better.

  • Bored

    nah nah you get me wrong im no Kobe fan, even though i find myself defending him lately. im not saying he is a better scorer than Jordan. im not crazy, he aint even close. im just saying because of Kobe’s range and MJ’s lack of. i mean Kobe can shoot the 3, mid range, post up and drive to the hole. thats all. MJ much better scorer but he wasnt no 3 point shooter, thats for sure. except that one year in the second 3-peat. Kobe’s 11th all time and record holder, albeit at a low %. just saying. i knew i would get ridiculed for the comment.

  • Bored

    i would of said the same thing to someone else commenting that.

  • Larry Sportello

    Weird that people assume that someone is overrated because they played in a different age, forgetting that if they played now they would have had access to all the latest diet, fitness and technology that players today do. Wilt would be a beast today.

  • pposse

    nobody has been playing d in the west for the past 15 yrs!

  • Max

    Exactly, I don’t know if he did it when he was playing, but I think the possibility of that is valid. Maybe that’s the reason he played for 50 years?
    Whenever I see a video where he’s in from now I’m always trying to figure out if he’s high or not.

  • Max

    And the award for stupidised (i know that’s not a word) goes to you my friend.
    Congratulations.

  • Max

    Wilt would have a 70 inch vertical and he’d run 6 seconds over 100 meters!

  • zogs19994

    WILT PLAYED 20 YEARS BEFORE MJ
    -
    MJ PLAYED 20 YEARS BEFORE KOBE
    -

  • yann blavec

    Who remembers who beat Bob Beamon’s record ? Kareem’s will be beaten, but it will have last decades.

  • The Fury

    You know that the Spurs is in the West right?

  • pposse

    one or two teams playing some D is not indicative of the whole conference. Other than the Spurs/Lakers in the past 15 yrs please name me a defensive powerhouse team in the West (not including this year, this year i think some teams stepped up). Orlando, Chicago, Boston, Miami, Detroit, Indiana, Cleveland (when bron was there) all played nasty D thruout the regular season (team defense too)

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Mathematician ^

  • http://www.facebook.com/rainman1991 Saleem Rainman

    It all makes sense now…*KobeSlurper*

  • http://www.facebook.com/rainman1991 Saleem Rainman

    You gotta give Dirk a pass for his injury issues, he’s right around 20 as of late NOW, and he isnt even fulyl healthy. Dirks game is gonna be basically ageless. Plus, You forgot the greatest Shooter of all time (numbers wise) Steve Nash. I think he’s the exception though.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    we all realize LeBron is on pace to walk past Kareem’s record right?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Gilbert/100001749589586 Mike Gilbert

    THANK YOU. Exactly my thoughts

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Gilbert/100001749589586 Mike Gilbert

    That’s an awful comparison, i’m not even gonna dignify it with a response. Besides the response I just gave…eff

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Gilbert/100001749589586 Mike Gilbert

    so he would be averaging 50 ppg and 25 rpg? really…

  • Caboose

    Ok, Steve Nash didn’t average over 20 ppg past age 33 either. I didn’t include him because his passing and floor general skills have kept him relevant. Not his shooting stroke.

  • Caboose

    You can check…

  • Caboose

    Well, I base it on this: Shaq and Wilt’s post games were roughly equivalent (based on athleticism/strength). Wilt was stronger than Shaq. Therefore, Wilt should average more than Shaq did. As for rebounding, Wilt was the best rebounder of his era. Therefore, he should be compared to the best rebounder of this era. I’ll arbitrarily pick Dwight. Wilt had almost a 10″ higher vert than Dwight. And 3 inches on him. Therefore, Wilt is likely (not guaranteed) to grab more rebounds than Dwight. Thus, I put my predictions for Wilt in this era at 33-36 ppg and 15-18 rpg. Not including blocked shots.

  • Caboose

    Best (as defined by overall skill level, including athleticism): Wilt, Hakeem, Kareem, Shaq, Robinson
    Greatest (as defined by impact on game via stats, rings, etc): Wilt, Kareem, Shaq, Hakeem, Bill

  • Caboose

    It’s reductio ad absurdum, but he raises a compelling point. Why isn’t Jordan’s era frowned upon nowadays? Will it be in 15 more years?

  • Caboose

    How about over the last 5 years? Utah, Houston, Dallas, Memphis, New Orleans, and Oklahoma City have all had better defensive ratings than Miami, Detroit, AND Indiana at least twice since 06-07.

  • Caboose

    Like easily at this point…

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk
  • LakeShow

    It’s science.

  • LakeShow

    You don’t honestly think LeBron will play past 37 do you?

  • pposse

    Touche. I don’t look at defensive stats much or any stats for that matter because
    1. I dont know how to
    2. I trust my eyes.

    In my defense i will say that the West gets to play certain teams (GS, Sacrament, PHX, New Orleans, Houston) 4 times as opposed to 2 times a year which can help skew stats bc those teams absolutely sucked.

  • LakeShow

    I couldn’t help but notice your pain…. SHARE IT WITH ME!!

  • Caboose

    Probably not.

  • Caboose

    It’s longevity. He has the best chance of anyone right now though.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    uhm, yes. he will play past 37 if he doesn’t get hurt. But i don’t think he’ll still be averaging over 25 at 37. He needs about 5 more years at above 28, and then 4 more after that above 22 and he’ll eclipse Jabar. If my math is accurate without using a mathematical instrument.

  • shutup

    I think his career avg is just a shade over 30 and about 17-19 rebounds, so yes really…….(his career avg is 30.1 and 22.9) and if Kevin Love can avg 19 and 14 last year, hell yeah Wilt could post his career averages in this era

  • LakeShow

    I don’t see him playing past 36,37, but that’s obviously just an opinion.
    Who know’s right now. We need to see where his old man game goes.
    I hope he becomes the greatest point power forward late in his career. That would be a blast to watch him on the post dishing.

  • LakeShow

    Pretty sure being one of 5 players in history to do something, and do it more than anyone else, makes you relevant.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    i’d like to see an example of a star player that retired before 38 and was healthy enough to play before i even consider that theory.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rainman1991 Saleem Rainman

    Touche, but regardless of that, u DID say that not many shooters aged very well, Nash has aged greatly.

  • LakeShow

    I for some reason picture his body breaking down around 34,35. I don’t think he can sustain his body type and playing style for that long.
    Once again, an opinion.

  • LakeShow

    Top 5 all time scorers, still playing in the game today, tend to get tossed into convo’s like this…..

  • shutup

    Yeah but his career avg doesn’t warrant the injection of the “Mamba” pardon me the “Black Mamba” lmfao

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Gilbert/100001749589586 Mike Gilbert

    People view Jordan’s era as having “tougher” defense. So if anything it was harder for Jordan to score 20,000.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    That’s fair to me

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Gilbert/100001749589586 Mike Gilbert

    Wilt had a season where he averaged 50 and 25. I said he would not be as dominant. Even if he averaged 30 and 20 and wins MVP I am still right.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Gilbert/100001749589586 Mike Gilbert

    did you just say that Wilt was better than Bill????????? Oh Lord…..

  • shutup

    No your still an idiot, 30 and 20 is pretty damn dominant by any standards.

  • Dagger

    I respect that opinion, and I’ve made it before myself. Not sure I believe it now.

    First, many of our stories and statistics about Wilt are apocryphal. We don’t know how strong he really was, although we do have some tall tales told by his friends and contemporaries. I also don’t think we have a verified vertical for him, although he himself did claim to have a 48 inch vertical, and we have some cool youtube videos. With that in mind, I think some caution is called for when comparing his athleticism to Dwight’s – one of the most athletic people in American sports history – or comparing his strength to Shaq’s.

    But second, it’s a leap to say that, for example, superior strength leads to superior scoring. I remember, I used to play against a friend of mine who had 40 or 50 pounds on me, although I could bench three times as much as him. He was a rock. I couldn’t move him, and he posted me up with ease. Now I’m not a great player (and neither was he), but body weight has a lot to do with your post game too (Shaq thought so, anyway), the size and strength of your legs/butt has something to do with it, and most importantly your skill has a lot to do with it as well. Basketball masquerades as a simple game, but there’s a lot that goes into putting that ball through the rim. For that matter, there’s also a lot that goes into rebounding: else why would Love be Howard’s equal as a rebounder?

    So I think Wilt would be dominant today, but I don’t think that he would be as beyond his peers as he was in the 60s and 70s. You admit as much and support Mike’s point, by the way, by saying Wilt would average 35/15.

    Actually, what calls my point into question for me is the reality that, with improvements to nutrition, medicine, etc., had Wilt been born in, say, the ’80s he would probably have been bigger than he was back in the ’60s. If he had access to modern training, he may have been even more athletic; he might also have learned the sophisticated low-post game of a Hakeem, or perhaps he would have acquired a 20-foot jumper. Who knows. The bottom line: if we reframe the question by imagining what Wilt would do to the league had he been born in the present era rather than if he was transported from the ’60s, we’d have a very different reality. Maybe he would dominate now like he did then.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Gilbert/100001749589586 Mike Gilbert

    no, no…you are the idiot. I said he “WOULD NOT BE AS DOMINANT” that means even if he was dominant, it would be toned down because the competition wouldn’t be 200 lb tall skinny white guys. While Wilt may have dominated the sshit out of his era (and to be honest how dominant was he, he only had 1 ring. he was a stats junky. he didn’t make his team that much better) he would not be able to do the same now. Once again, I am right.

  • Caboose

    Of course I did. Bill “40%” Russell is nowhere even close to Wilt.

  • Caboose

    All well said. Keep in mind that Wilt was about 275-290. That’s heavier than Dwight, LeBron, etc. 35-15 is not unrealistic today. And that would put him as a better scorer than all but Jordan, essentially.

  • shutup

    was gonna say Karl Malone, then I reread your comment…..

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    40, and injured.

  • shutup

    His career avg is how dominant he was, not his best year or his best 3 years, at least imo dominance is a career achievement, and Wilt without a doubt in my mind would score 30 and grab close to 20 boards a game. The court is the same length and the hoop is the same height, he was a thoroughbred, he could run the court better than 90% of the league right now. Not too mention the lack of skilled bigmen in the game, or did you not see what Scola did to the best the NBA had to offer in the Olympics????? One last thing about Wilt, you do realize he avg 37 and 27 his NBA rookie year??? He would no doubt be the number one overall pick if he was drafted next year, and not one center in the game today is close to being able to do what he did. You put Dwight back there in ’65 and you think he’s avg 37 and 27? not a chance…..

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Gilbert/100001749589586 Mike Gilbert

    There’s a lot of reasons why Bill was better but I’ll spare you and keep this short.

    Bill had the rings 11 to 2

    Bill had the defense

    Bill wasn’t a piece of sh*t teammate
    -Wilt only cared about getting stats
    —he randomly decided to lead the league in assists(didn’t care about winning) (his apg averages went from 5.2 to 7.8 to 8.6 back to 4.1…..)
    -

    Wilt had just as good if not better teammates then Wilt, but Bill made his teammates better. that was the difference. Wilt played with Nate Thurmond, Elgin Baylor, Jerry West…still couldn’t get it done

    (btw Wilt’s stats were inflated in an era where people chucked up shots. That’s why his rebounding numbers were the way they were. Also, his fg% numbers were not all that impressive when you consider that he played 5 feet from the basket…except that year he shot 67%..that’s wack)

    Here is the BIG kicker…i’m not going to look up the stats but I know I am right because I have before. Wilt’s stats dipped in the playoffs while Bill elevated his. Bill brought his effin game when it mattered (11 rings) Wilt could barely get it done in the spotlight (especially with Bill guarding him.) If you define being a good basketball player as being a stat whore then WIlt is your guy. But if you define it as a winner…then Bill was THE BEST…(actually MJ was)

    also….Wilt would rather lose a championship game than foul out and break his own record
    “I don’t know how many potential victories he may have cheated his team out of by not really playing after getting into foul trouble.”–John Havlicek

  • Caboose

    Good logic demands I respect all of your arguments. Lets go from the top.

    1. “The Rings argument.” While I am a mild proponent of this as a benchmark, it is illogical to claim one player is vastly better than another based on ring count. Is Robert Horry a better role player than Scottie Pippen? Is Andrew Bynum a better center than Patrick Ewing? You know the answer is no. Rings mean a LOT more than just individual talent. Russell played with 9 other Hall of Famers. That means a lot.

    2. “Bill had the defense.” Yeah, Bill was great defensively. So was Wilt. Given the dearth of defensive stats, the only evidence is eyewitness accounts, which are spotty at best. Wilt and Bill are both given their due defensively. One thing I would like to bring up, is that Russell could NOT shut down Wilt. Wilt’s career averages are 30 and 23. His career averages against Russell are 29 and 29. Regardless, this is the strongest argument against Wilt.

    3. “Bill wasn’t a piece of sh!t teammate.” Ok. How many people knock Kobe for being one? I find it ridiculous how you are using the fact that Wilt LED THE LEAGUE IN ASSISTS as proof that he was a bad teammate. Isn’t that kinda the opposite?

    4. “Wilt had…better teammates…Bill made his teammates better.” The first part of this is ridiculous, as cited in #1. As for Bill making his teammates better, wanna explain how? Wilt was a THREAT on offense, which opens up his team far better than having Bill who frankly, was a middling offensive player, even for his own time. I buy neither of these statements, as little is given to back it up.

    5. “Wilt’s stats were inflated.” So were Russell’s. Here’s the difference: look at the FG%. Russell’s highest FG% was 46%. That is Wilt’s lowest. You even acknowledge this fact.

    6. Wilt’s stats shrank in the playoffs while Bill’s increased. Yes. This is true. However, Wilt’s stats were STILL better. Wilt career playoff averages: 23-25-4 on 52% shooting. Bill career playoff averages: 16-25-5 on 43% shooting. How exactly is that Wilt “barely getting it done in the spotlight?”

    7. You define the best basketball player by being the best “winner?” Come now, that’s childish and ESPN-esque.

    8. You bring up Wilt’s foul record. I’d argue that Wilt cost his team less games by avoiding fouls than Russell did as a result of all the games he fouled out of (check his career problems with foul trouble).

    9. I would like to revisit the “Wilt didn’t help his team” argument. The year before Wilt got traded, the Warriors went 48-32. The year after, they went 17-63. That’s roughly the same leap as when LeBron left Cleveland. By your logic, LeBron didn’t help the Cavaliers get wins.

    Please, if you are going to try to argue that someone who never averaged 19 ppg in a season is better than someone who put up over 50 ppg in the same era, come with better arguments that can’t be picked apart.

  • Caboose

    But he hasn’t aged as a result of his SHOOTING. It’s his playmaking that makes teams want him.

  • Caboose

    C’mon Lake, Stevie isn’t prized by teams as a spot up shooter. He’s so coveted because he’s still one of the best floor generals in the league. It’s not his shooting prowess that has kept him around. It’s the ability to run a team that has ensured his longevity. Parallels: Andre Miller was never a good shooter but is still a viable point guard at age 36 because he can run an offense.

  • Bored

    you dont understand how funny that is to me.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Another amazing stat is that Wilt had 78 career triple doubles. Only 3 players tallied more than that, and they were all point guards: Magic, Big O, and Jason Kidd. That is f*cking amazing.

  • Bored

    his first 2 years hurt his avg though. ahhh im doing it again! defending Kobe. im pretty sure he deserves it but i get so much negative feedback from it. am i wrong or am i right. im pretty sure im right.

  • Bored

    look a few comments down

  • q

    wilt could shoot

    watch tape…and read what his peers say about him he was unbelievable

Advertisement