Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Karl Malone. Michael Jordan. Wilt Chamberlain. This is the list of players that have topped the 30,000-point mark in their NBA careers. That’s it; just those four.
Kobe Bryant is only 13 points away from accomplishing this feat, and at 34 years old Bryant will be the youngest ever to do so. Love him or hate him, the career Los Angeles Lakers superstar is without a doubt one of the best players in NBA history, and surpassing 30,000 points is just another bullet point on his impressive resume.
Five-time NBA champion, two-time scoring champion, 14-time All-Star, NBA MVP, two-time Finals MVP, 10-time All-NBA First Team, nine-time NBA All-Defensive First Team… the list can go on and on. Bryant’s career accomplishments read similar to something you would see from a player that’s already in the Hall of Fame, not a 17-year player still at the top of his game.
When Bryant scores his 14th point against the New Orleans Hornets tonight he will be etched in history once again, at least until either LeBron James or Kevin Durant supplant him. That is, considering they are able to be as good for as long as Kobe has been. Bryant has averaged 25-plus points per game in 13 consecutive seasons, all while fighting through various injuries. Not only is Bryant one of the league’s best scorers ever, he’s also historically one of the NBA’s toughest players.
Bryant’s uber-competitive nature may rub some fans the wrong way. His somewhat checkered past may still leave a bad impression on others, but the numbers speak for themselves. When it comes to the hardwood, you have to respect Kobe Bryant the player. Just check the record books.