Durant 'never thought' he'd emulate James, Bryant and Jordan
Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant sits just 25 points shy of an illustrious milestone.
Durant could reach 20,000 for his career when he makes his return from a right calf strain against the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday and is humbled by the opportunity to become the second-youngest player in NBA history to accomplish the feat behind LeBron James.
Durant would become one of just five players to reach the milestone before age 30, joining James, Kobe Bryant, Wilt Chamberlain and Michael Jordan.
"Man, that's some great company, and there's so many names I never thought I'd be in the same conversation with," Durant said via ESPN. "But to have it in numbers, in black and white, to know that you belong in that group is pretty special to me.
"I'm telling you, it's never been a goal of mine to count how many points I have. That's not why I play the game. To be under 30 and do it, that's special to me too. You play in this league for so long, and having an opportunity to do something like this at this age, you just can't take it for granted, because there's not too many players on that list."
Injury report for tomorrow's game vs. the Clippers: Kevin Durant (right calf strain), Draymond Green (right knee soreness) & Andre Iguodala (left knee & hip soreness) are probable.-- Warriors PR (@WarriorsPR) January 10, 2018
Durant, who doesn't turn 30 until September, has averaged at least 25 points per game in every season, except his rookie campaign. He is averaging 25.9 points, 5.3 assists and 7.1 rebounds per contest in 33 games this season.
"I guess you can look at that at my age, my longevity, and say it's a sign that I'm still playing at a high level," he said. "It's something that's special, knowing that I've been in the league for so long, and I've got so much respect as a scorer and as a player, and I don't want to stop here. I want to keep going and see how far I can take it.
"It's always been about just playing for the love, playing because I just enjoy it and it makes me happy. Anything in between, it's just extra to be honest. I'm just thankful for it all."