OKLAHOMA CITY (CHRISTIAN EXAMINER) — As Oklahoma City forward, Kevin Durant — a Christian — continues to pile up points (he's currently third in NBA in scoring), Lebron James thinks he has a chance to become the league's all-time leading scorer.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who played 20 seasons, currently holds the record with 38,387 points. Durant — a 27-year-old, six-time All-Star who has led the league in scoring four times — has scored more than 16,000 points in his nine-year career. If he stays healthy, he should be over 17,000 by the end of the season. After nine seasons, Abdul-Jabbar had scored more than 20,000 points.
"(Durant's) ability to score the ball is obviously up there with the greatest to ever play," said James recently, who is 18th on the all-time scoring list. "I know (passing Jabbar is) not in his memory bank right now, him trying to help the team get better and better, but long term he definitely can challenge (Jabbar's record)."
NBA legend Jerry West weighed in on the topic near the end of the 2013-14 season.
"I said this two or three years ago," West said. "If (Kevin Durant) stays healthy, he will break the all-time scoring record in the NBA."
But that was before Durant missed most of the 2014-15 season with a foot injury, scoring just 686 points.
Durant has scored more than 2,000 points in a season four times. In his first eight seasons, he averaged 1,942 points. If he were to stay healthy, he would need to continue that average this season, and the following 11 seasons, to surpass Abdul-Jabbar. He would be 39 years old.
He said recently that he'll leave predictions up to other people. His job is simply to play the game he loves.
"I had to wear a boot for 14 weeks and couldn't put up a shot for three months. It brought me to the present real quick," he wrote in reference to the time he missed last season. "You just have to go through it. Your basketball life is fragile, but that's also why it's so meaningful."
All of life is fragile, really. He seems to grasp that. Recently, he visited students at Positive Tomorrows, Oklahoma's only elementary school specifically for homeless children, to donate $35,000 through his Kevin Durant Charitable Foundation.
He went to church as a young boy, but as he got older, his family went less frequently. He attends NBA chapel now as often as possible, and says he reads his Bible "all the time" after being inspired to do so by the movie, "The Book of Eli."
"The Bible both pumps me up and balances me to play my best, but it also tells me more about the Lord and how I can live for Him and what all He has done for me," he said.
Durant wears a band on his left wrist that says, "ibelieve." He offers this explanation for what it means and why he wears it.
"I believe God's love for me, the sacrificial death of Jesus for my sins, and His grace, not my good works, are what saves me," he said. "That humbles me and makes me worship Him. I also believe Heaven is reserved for me and that the best is yet to come."
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