While Kevin Durant still has a lot of games left until he calls it a career, he’s already established one thing: That he is one of the greatest scorers the sport of basketball has ever witnessed. That certainly doesn’t require further evidence, yet he keeps providing it.
On Monday night, in a Golden State Warriors blowout victory against the Memphis Grizzlies, Durant totaled 23 points, which further moved him up the all-time NBA scoring ladder, to 21,806 points. And in doing so, he passed one heck of a name: Larry Bird.
With nine points tonight, Kevin Durant (21,792 career points) has passed Larry Bird (21,791) for 33rd place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.— Warriors PR (@WarriorsPR) December 18, 2018
With his ninth point of the night, Durant moved ahead of Larry Legend, and into sole possession of 33rd place on the all-time NBA scoring list (38th if you include the ABA). To top it all off, he passed Bird while playing in 95 fewer games. And while Bird is a big name to scoot ahead of, Durant is far from done - in his next game he’ll almost surely pass the next name on the list, Clyde Drexler.
If Durant chooses to have a long career, he’ll easily glide into the top ten, and would most likely end up in the top five. Among the names he’s chasing are five active players: Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat (22,390 points, 30th all-time), Vince Carter of the Atlanta Hawks (25,055 points, 22nd all-time), Carmelo Anthony, technically of the Houston Rockets (25,551 points, 19th all-time), Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks (31,192 points, seventh all-time), and LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers (31,869 points, fifth all-time).
It was a special night at Oracle Arena on Monday. Not only did Durant pass Bird, but Steph Curry became the fifth player in franchise history to score 15,000 points.