The Oklahoma City Thunder extended their win streak to seven in a row with a 104-92 win over the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night.
In the first quarter reigning MVP and four-time scoring champion Kevin Durant scored his 15,001st point on a fadeaway jumper becoming the second youngest player to reach the 15,000 point milestone. Lebron James was the youngest when he accomplished the feat in 2010.
Naturally this has brought about more comparisons as if these two superstars don’t get compared enough. Instead of appreciating each player’s greatness, there are comments downplaying Durant’s achievement because James did it one year and one day younger.
However, downplaying Durant’s accomplishment by comparing the ages of each player when the milestone was reached is not a fair comparison. James accomplished the feat at 25 years, 79 days and Durant at 26 years, 78 days.
Let’s give this comparison some perspective though; James was able to come straight out of high school into the NBA at the age of 18, in the final year before the NBA instituted the one-and-done rule that requires every player to play at least one year of college basketball before entering the draft. Durant (26), being a couple years younger James (29), was required to play one year of college which he did at the University of Texas. As a result, Durant was 19 when he began his NBA career.
Durant and James reached the mark at very similar speeds however. It took Durant 550 games while it took James 540. Wilt Chamberlin holds the record for fewest games played to reach 15,000 points at 358.
For now though let’s stop downplaying Durant’s achievement and congratulate him on making his way into the record books once more. These two are not done setting records or achieving greatness so there will be plenty of opportunities in the future to nitpick and compare every milestone they reach.
Kevin Durant and the Thunder will try to keep their winning streak alive Thursday night at Golden State while Lebron and the Cavaliers will host Brooklyn on Friday.