One of the things that truly made Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant great was how high his level of play remained even in his later years. There was no doubt that Bryant was still a top-five player in the NBA in seasons when his game should have been declining, and now Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James is doing the same.
James is putting forth one of his best campaigns in his 15th year in the league, averaging 27.4 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 9.1 assists with the rebounds and assists being career-high rates. Along the way he has been making history, unfortunately it has often times come at the expense of Kobe.
Earlier this season James passed Bryant as the youngest player to score 30,000 points and on Tuesday night again moved ahead of the five-time champion for most points scored by a player in his 15th season or later, via ESPN Stats & Info:
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 4, 2018
It is truly a great accomplishment as very few people are capable of performing at that level so great in their careers. Kobe and LeBron are two of the greatest to ever play the game and numbers like these are proof of that.
It is worth noting, however, that the 15th season of his career was when Bryant tore his Achilles. During that time he was on an absolute tear trying to will the Lakers into the playoffs, dropping 30- and 40-point games regularly.
Had Bryant been able to finish out the season, his total number of points scored undoubtedly would have been much higher.
None of this is to take away from what LeBron has accomplished and, seeing how he has four games remaining this season, it is more than possible that he would have surpassed Kobe’s record regardless. In the end, he deserves congratulations on what he has done, being a dominant force deep into his career.
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