Shaquille O'Neal Dares Durant to Break NBA Scoring Record

Durant's Historic Climb Ignites NBA Legends' Friendly Banter.

by Nouman Rasool
Shaquille O'Neal Dares Durant to Break NBA Scoring Record
© Jay Biggerstaff/Getty Images

In the ever-evolving narrative of NBA legends, Kevin Durant, the Phoenix Suns forward, has ascended another rung on the league's illustrious all-time scoring ladder. In a remarkable display of skill and persistence, Durant notched 22 points against the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night, vaulting past basketball giants such as Hakeem Olajuwon, Elvin Hayes, Moses Malone, Carmelo Anthony, and, most recently, Shaquille O'Neal.

This feat positioned Durant as the eighth-highest scorer in the annals of NBA history.

O'Neal Challenges Durant

In response to this milestone, O'Neal extended his congratulations to Durant, humorously nudging the "Easy Money Sniper" to set his sights on LeBron James, the current pinnacle of NBA scoring.

The prospect of Durant catching up to James, however, appears to be a distant dream. At 35, Durant would need to maintain his career average of 27.3 points per game until 2031 to breach the exclusive 40,000 point club a milestone currently only in James's possession.

Ben Rohrbach of Yahoo Sports casts a shadow of improbability over this endeavor, suggesting Durant would be 42 by the time he could potentially reach this goal. Moreover, LeBron James continues to defy age, amassing points and potentially setting his sights on a career total surpassing 45,000.

This ongoing accumulation casts a longer shadow over Durant's aspirations. Realistically, Durant's legacy might see him eclipse legends such as Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and Karl Malone, positioning him among the top three scorers in history.

However, reaching or surpassing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar or even LeBron James seems unlikely at this stage. Durant's journey has been marred by lower extremity injuries, sidelining him for nearly two full seasons, which undeniably hindered his scoring trajectory.

Currently standing at 28,610 points, he trails the seventh-place holder, Wilt Chamberlain, by nearly 3,000 points. Projecting ahead, Durant might overtake Chamberlain's 31,419 points by the 2025-26 season, inching closer to Dirk Nowitzki's mark of 31,560.

While the path to the summit is steep and fraught with challenges, Durant's resolve and talent ensure that his journey through the annals of NBA history is far from over.