Former NBA superstar Allen Iverson is one of the most gifted scorers the league has seen, and a favorite of other basketball players. Kevin Durant lists himself among the many AI admirers and opened up about it after passing the 76ers great on the NBA's all-time scoring list during the Nets' Wednesday night win over the Celtics.
Durant scored 21 points on 8 of 16 shooting in the 123–104 victory for Brooklyn. He now sits at a career total of 24,369 points across his 15 NBA seasons, which puts him ahead of Iverson's 24,368.
That final basket also moved him into the No. 25 spot in the league's all-time scoring list. He reached the mark in 12 fewer games than Iverson.
"I mean, it means the world. I dedicated my life to this game at an early age ... so I watched all these guys that I'm like passing up," Durant said after the game, per ESPN.
"I wanted to be like them. I wanted to be in the NBA like them, and make an impact in the league like them. So Iverson, he was the pantheon for me. One of those guys that I emulated every time I went outside and played with my friends," Durant continued. "It's all surreal. I pictured I would be in the league, and had an idea . . . but to do it is pretty special."
Durant, a Washington D.C.-area native, first started watching Iverson during his college career at nearby Georgetown.
"I really became a huge Iverson fan, obviously, just like everybody else his rookie year. But seeing him at Georgetown and playing for coach [John] Thompson and that whole culture that they built there, he was a huge part of that," Durant added. "But once he came to the league, he had players . . . I was a center, power forward on my young team, and we all were long crossing and double-crossing. He influenced a lot of people.
"So to pass him on the list and to be up there with some of the greats on that list is incredible. I've just got to keep going."
Durant has plenty of other greats in his sights.
Next up is Ray Allen, whom Durant trails by 136 total points. If Durant maintains his 28.1 points per game average this season, he could score another 1,770 points this season (without accounting for potential injury or load management throughout the season). That total would vault him into 18th place and ahead of fellow forward Kevin Garnett.
Durant and the Nets are back in action on Saturday night,at home against the Suns.