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Kevin Durant: Can He Add an NBA Title to His Scoring Title in 2012?

Is an NBA title next for this year's scoring leader?
Is an NBA title next for this year's scoring leader?Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Jerry TappSenior Analyst IIIMay 12, 2012

Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant won his third straight NBA scoring title becoming the eighth player in the league to win three or more scoring titles in their career; he joins Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, George Gervin, Allen Iverson, George Mikan, Neil Johnston and Bob McAdoo. He is also the seventh player to win three straight scoring titles.

With the Thunder still alive in the playoffs, Durant is hoping to join another elite group: those scoring titleholders who won an NBA championship the same season. The last time the scoring leader’s team made it to the NBA Finals was in 2001 when Allen Iverson’s 76ers lost to the L.A. Lakers. The last time the scoring leader’s team won the NBA title was the previous year when Shaquille O’Neal’s Lakers defeated the Indiana Pacers.

Only five different players have won a scoring title and championship in the same season (it has, however, happened on 11 different occasions). They are:

Player, Team, Scoring title/championship year

Joe Fulks, Philadelphia, 1947

George Mikan, Minneapolis, 1949

George Mikan, Minneapolis, 1950

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Milwaukee, 1971

Michael Jordan: Six NBA titles and scoring titles in same season
Michael Jordan: Six NBA titles and scoring titles in same seasonJonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Michael Jordan, Chicago, 1991

Michael Jordan, Chicago, 1992

Michael Jordan, Chicago, 1993

Michael Jordan, Chicago, 1996

Michael Jordan, Chicago, 1997

Michael Jordan, Chicago, 1998

Shaquille O’Neal, L.A. Lakers, 2000

Here’s a few additional stats regarding players who won the NBA scoring title.

* Five scoring leaders saw their team lose in the NBA finals: Chamberlain (1964), Rick Barry (1967), Jerry West (1970), O’Neal (1995) and Iverson (2001).

* Fifty-five of the 65 scoring leaders played in the playoffs that same year.

* The ten seasons in which the scoring leader’s team did not play in the playoffs: Neil Johnston, Philadelphia (1953, 1954, 1955); Chamberlain, San Francisco (1963); Nate Archibald, Kansas City-Omaha (1973); Pete Maravich, New Orleans (1977); Adrian Dantley, Utah (1981); Bernard King, N.Y. Knicks (1985); David Robinson, San Antonio (1994); Tracy McGrady, Orlando (2004).

* The scoring titleholder’s team made it to the final four in 31 of the 65 playoffs.

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

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