KD moves into the top 25 on the NBA's scoring list
Going into yesterday's game against the Boston Celtics, Durant was just one point shy of The Answer for 25th place on the NBA's all-time list in points. Then, two minutes into the first quarter, he drilled his patented mid-range jumper to pass Iverson with 24,369 career points.
Durant grew up idolizing Iverson. Passing him up and joining the company of the 25 greatest scorers ever was a special moment for KD "I mean, it means the world," he said after the game. "I dedicated my life to this game at an early age ... so I watched all these guys that I'm like passing up."
I wanted to be like them. I wanted to be in the NBA like them, and make an impact in the league like them. So Iverson, he was the pantheon for me. One of those guys that I emulated every time I went outside and played with my friends. It's all surreal. I pictured I would be in the league, and had an idea ... but to do it is pretty special.
How Iverson impacted Durant
Durant grew up in Washington D.C. and had the pleasure of watching Iverson dominate as early as his college days. But like most of us, he fell in love with his game the moment he entered the NBA. Naturally, KD looked up to A.I. as one to model his game after.
"I really became a huge Iverson fan, obviously, just like everybody else his rookie year," KD said. "But seeing him at Georgetown and playing for coach [John] Thompson and that whole culture that they built there, he was a huge part of that. But once he came to the league, he had players ... I was a center, power forward on my young team, and we all were long crossing and double crossing. He influenced a lot of people."
Fifteen seasons into his NBA career, Iverson's impact on KD's game is overt, and yesterday's display at TD Garden was no different. Durant dropped 21 points, 4 rebounds, and 8 assists to lead the Nets to a 123-104 victory over the Celtics, improving their record to conference-leading 14-5.
He hit mid-range jumpers, showed incredible handles, and displayed the level of basketball atypical for a player of his size -- just like Iverson did throughout his 14-year NBA career. But Durant is far from over. "To pass him on the list and to be up there with some of the greats on that list is incredible," he said. "I've just got to keep going."
Next up is Ray Allen, who Durant trails by 136 points. At his current scoring clip -- 28.1 ppg after yesterday's win in Boston -- KD is only a few games away from passing Ray, as the case for the greatest scorer ever continues to build itself.