INDIANAPOLIS — As Kevin Durant continues to climb the ranks of the all-time scorers list, he does so with a greater appreciation for what LeBron James is accomplishing as he nears the all-time record of the NBA.
“To be number one at anything, there’s 8 billion people in the world, we just found out last week, so to be the all-time number one to score in basketball, I I’m sure it’s going to be a range of emotions for him,” Durant said during Friday’s shootout before a game against the Indiana Pacers. “But being in a time where we see this live is also pretty cool. You probably can’t even describe the emotions and feelings that he and his family and friends are going to be going through, but it’s cool to see it up close. .”
Durant, who enters Friday’s game with 26,074 points, passed Kevin Garnett for 18th on the all-time list in Wednesday’s win over the Toronto Raptors. He says he never focused on becoming the all-time scoring king, even as he climbs to a higher place in basketball history every night.
“I never really thought about it,” Durant said. “I heard the talks, especially early in my career when I was doing stuff that the LeBrons, the Michael Jordans did in the league in terms of goals, but I know how hard it is to do consistently this year after year, day after day. A lot of things are out of your control. But I just try to come in and be the best version of myself that I can be and whatever happens, happens.
The same goes for every player Durant passes on the roster. He said he never had a particular name he wanted to top, preferring to focus on improving his own game day by day.
“I never thought of it that way,” Durant said. “It’s always about continuing to add, continuing to build good days every day. Being consistent in who I am as a player and seeing what happens at the end of the road. So I’m just grateful to get up and to do something like Just keep improving my skills and keep building my database for the game I guess.
“That’s what I look forward to every day. Whoever I pass and whatever records I break for myself, that’s what it is. But I’m just trying to get up and to be available, to be the best that I can every day.”
Durant and James haven’t played against each other since a Christmas Day game in 2018 due to various injuries to both players, but Durant must have smiled when asked about it afterwards. a loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on November 13.
“I didn’t think about it until you started talking about it,” Durant said. “He’s obviously one of the top two players to ever play, top three player to ever play the game, so it’s always going to be exciting when he steps on the floor. And we’ve been around for so long that people have seen so many battles between the two of us at the highest level that people are looking forward to. It’s cool that we’re still relevant in old age, people want to come see us play.