On Wednesday night, Phoenix Suns All-Star guard Devin Booker became the 4th youngest NBA player to score 11,000 points, only months later in life than Book’s idol Kobe Bryant.
Only james lebron (the league’s second top scorer of all time), Kobe Bryant (fourth all-time top scorer in the league) and Kevin Durant got their 11k at a younger age.
“It means so much,” Booker says. “They are my favorite players of all time, growing up. Be next to their names in any category…these are the guys who came in as young studs to accomplish what everyone thought they couldn’t throughout their careers. Even watching LeBron (37) and KD (33) still do that at that age is pretty amazing. These guys are a big inspiration to me.
the @Suns Devin Booker scored 28 points in a win over the Timberwolves, hitting 11,000 career points in the process.
He is the fourth youngest player in NBA history to reach this mark (age in years-days):
23-324 LeBron James
24-104 Kevin Durant
25-099 Kobe Bryant
25-144 Reserve pic.twitter.com/cilM1YoPzy
— Justin Kubatko (@jkubatko) March 24, 2022
Devin Booker entered the league just before his 19th birthday, a plus on those “youngest ever” lists. Fellow all-time leading scorers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1st), Karl Malone (3rd), and Michael Jordan (5th) made their NBA debuts at older ages.
But don’t overlook Booker’s feat too much. Back then, a player was allowed to enter the NBA at age 18. Kobe Bryant was still 17 when his name was called on draft night in 1996 and played his entire rookie year at 18. are written.
Can Book join the greatest of all time?
To put that into perspective, Booker hit 11,000 points in his 7th year. Kobe Bryant ended up playing 20 years in the NBA, scoring over 33,000 points before retiring.
Here are the top 10 scorers of all time.
Now I’m going to add their age when they entered the league, and the number of seasons they’ve played:
- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – 22 years old – 20 seasons
- LeBron James — 19 years — 19 seasons … and carry on
- Karl Malone — 22 years old — 19 seasons
- Kobe Bryant – 18 years old – 20 seasons
- Michael Jordan – 21 years old – 15 seasons
- Dirk Nowitzki — 20 years — 21 seasons
- Wilt Chamberlain – 23 years old – 15 seasons
- Shaquille O’Neal – 20 years old – 19 seasons
- Carmelo Anthony — 19 years old — 19 seasons … and carry on
- Moses Malone – 19 years old – 21 seasons
The key to 8 of the top 10 all-time scorers is longevity, with 19 or more seasons for each of them. Big props to MJ and Wilt for their place on this list with 25% fewer years in the league!
If he can stay healthy, Booker could play 20 years in the league until his late 30s. And if that happens, he’s on course to end his career as the all-time top scorer.
Of course, other active players could round or beat Book up in the all-time lists. Among the active players we have.
22. Kevin Durant – Joined at 19 – played 14 seasons – scored 25,248 points – on track to finish top 5 all-time if he plays more than 6 seasons
29. James Harden – 20 years old – 13 seasons – 23,305 points – could finish top 5 all-time if he plays more than 7 seasons
32. Russell Westbrook – 20 – 14 seasons – 23,164 points – could finish in the all-time top 10 if he plays more than 7 seasons
The next active NBA player on the all-time leading scorers list is none other than Chris Paul, ranked 41st all-time (20,844 points), but at his current scoring rate and already advanced age ( 37 this spring), there’s no way he’s ranked in the top 10 all-time before retiring. Paul is probably happy to be the ONLY NBA player in history to score 20,000 points and 10,000 assists.
Can Book be the Suns’ all-time leading scorer?
Devin Booker is already 7th on the Suns’ all-time scoring list and will move up to 6th by the weekend as he is just 30 points behind Amare Stoudemire.
Who does he need to pass up to be the Suns’ all-time leading scorer?
- Walter Davis 15,666
- Alvan Adams 13,910
- Kevin Johnson 12,747
- Shawn Marion 12,134
- Dick Van Arsdale12 060
- Amare Stoudemire11 035
- Devin Booker 11 005
Assuming he maintains his 25 ppg pace, Book will pass Walter Davis and take the Suns’ all-time scoring lead in about two and a half seasons at the ripe old age of 28.
The Suns have more prolific scorers than Sweet D who rank higher on the all-time scoring list, but they’ve only spent a fraction of their careers in a Suns uniform.
Other Suns of note among the top 50 scorers of all time:
27. Charles Barkley (4 of 16 seasons with the Suns)
46. Joe Johnson (4 of 17 with Suns)
48. Tom Chambers (5 of 16 seasons with the Suns)
The key to the all-time score is not only talent but also longevity. Booker has the score part. Now he needs the longevity part.
I can see Durant lasting at this scoring level for over 7 years. He just looks ageless there. But I don’t think there is ANY way for Harden or Westbrook to rack up more than 20 points a year for another 7 years to come. Do you?
Another note on the all-time score list: only two players (Kobe Bryant, Dirk Nowitzki) in the Top 10 has played for one team his entire career.
Let’s hope Devin Booker joins Kobe and Dirk as the all-time leading scorers who stayed with a franchise!