Well, Kobe Bryant finally passed Michael Jordan as the third all-time scoring leader in NBA history against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday.
What does it mean, exactly?
For one, it means that Kobe has cemented his legacy as one of the greatest players to ever pick up a basketball, once again.
Second, it means that Bryant’s dedication to the game and relentless work ethic has allowed him to outlast all of the superstars of his generation, as he’s performing at one of the highest — if not the highest — levels in NBA history for a player in his 19th season.
Passing Michael Jordan means that Kobe Bryant has reached a mark set by the man he learned so much from, among others.
Finally, it means that he is the ultimate student of the game and will be remembered as the player he’s always wanted to be remembered as: The player who overachieved and maximized his talent.
While Jordan needed just 15 seasons to reach 32,292 points, Bryant has been quick to point out the different career paths each player had.
Bryant famously entered the league as a cocky 17-year-old kid out of Lower Merion High School, joining the Lakers following a trade back on July 1, 1996. Being on the Lakers provided him with the backbone of a storied franchise, but also limited his play during the early stages of his career, as the Lakers were a team on the rise.
Bryant also had to play second-fiddle to Shaquille O’Neal, as The Diesel was the most dominant force in the league at the time. Bryant won three titles in a row alongside O’Neal from 2000-2002, and two more with Pau Gasol and Co. in 2009 and 2010.
Jordan, on the other hand, was the Chicago Bulls’ franchise player from the start, averaging 28.2 points, 6.5 rebounds, 5.9 assists, and 2.4 steals in his rookie season.
Jordan, paired with swingman Scottie Pippen, won three titles in a row from 1991-1993, retired to play baseball, then came back and won three more titles in another “threepeat” from 1996-1998, before retiring once again.
In 2001, MJ made a comeback with the Washington Wizards in an attempt to boost a team in which he had front office control in, which resulted in two sub-bar (by Jordan’s standards, anyway) seasons.
Both players won all of their titles under legendary head coach, Phil Jackson.
Despite the two seasons in Washington, Jordan finished his career with an average of 30.1 points per game — which is the highest in NBA history and is percentage points above Wilt Chamberlain’s average. Chamberlain once averaged over 50 points per game in a season, to put that in perspective.
The Black Mamba currently holds a career average of 25.5 points.[divide]
Lakers Kobe Bryant Passes Michael Jordan On NBA All-Time Scoring List
CONTINUE READING: From Student To Master, Kobe Bryant Passes Michael Jordan