Kobe Bean Bryant is now a full grown man; I remember watching 19 year old Kobe and never thought I was watching another shooting guard who would surpass Wilt Chamberlain on the all time scoring list. Only thought there’d be one of those in my lifetime, but I was so wrong.
“What a journey,” Bryant said after the Los Angeles Lakers’ 103-98 win. “It’s been a very, very long journey. I’m certainly extremely appreciative of all the support and the Laker faithful, the ‘Laker Nation,’ from being a 17-year-old kid to a 34-year-old man and all the support they’ve given me throughout my career.”
Next on the scoring list? Michael Jeffrey Jordan. I’m sure Kobe would rather match Jordan’s rings than points though. Kobe is now fourth place on the league’s all-time scoring list, but his history with Wilt “the Stilt” Chamberlain goes back much further than that.
“I remember the first time I met him when I was about eight years old,” Bryant said. “The first thing that struck me was that, the first thing I thought of was he was ‘Bombata’ from ['Conan the Destroyer']. That was the most impressive thing to me. He was just such a warm-hearted gentleman and I have nothing but praise for him, obviously. To pass him up is a huge honor, to say the least.”
Bryant’s scored a midrange jumper with 7:55 remaining in the second quarter to give him 31,421 career points to pass Chamberlain’s 31,419 total. Back in his teenage days, Bryant also broke Chamberlain’s Philadelphia area high school scoring record by scoring 2,883 points to Chamberlain’s 2,252
“He knew me as Jellybean’s son,” Bryant said of Chamberlain. “He picked me up and just showed me all the love in the world because us Philly players all stick together. He knew my father, he knew my uncle [Chubby Cox who played in the league] and the family and stuff … We have a close relationship indirectly through my family and so forth.”