Kobe Bryant’s career is defined by many things that include Most Valuable Player awards, NBA Championships, and records that may never be reached again. When young players enter the NBA they are playing against the players they looked up to for years.
On this night four years ago, Bryant passed fellow Laker Wilt Chamberlain for fourth on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. His 19 points helped the Lakers beat the Sacramento Kings. He did not have a particularly good shooting night as he only shot 5-of-18 from the field.
Bryant was battling a sore foot at the time and in Kobe fashion he played all but 23 seconds of the game. He also dished out a season-high 14 assists and grabbed nine rebounds. Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard also had big nights to help Bryant out. Gasol finished with 12 points and 10 assists and Howard chipped in with 24 point, 15 rebounds, and five assists.
The Lakers struggled early in the game trailing 37-25 after the first quarter, but eventually worked their way back into the game. The Lakers really took control of the game at the end of the third quarter when they went on a 14-1 run to enter the final quarter with a seven-point lead.
Bryant will go down as one of the top players to ever play the game. The level of play he played at for so many years may never be matched again. He always strived to be better than he was the season before.
He will probably admit that passing Chamberlain is not as important as winning a championship, but whenever a player can surpass another one of the greatest players ever, it is always a special moment no matter the circumstances.
Bryant always gave Lakers fans memories that will last a lifetime, which makes it important to cherish those special moments.