Wednesday December 5th becomes only the 5th player in NBA history to score 30 thousand points joining a list of NBA greats Wilt Chamberlain (31,419), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387), Karl Malone (36,928) and Michael Jordan (32,292). Along with being the yongest at the age of 34 years and 104 days old, the old record was held by Chamberlain 35 years, 179 days old.
Kobe spoke to reporters after the game about the irony of the milestone occurring against the team who drafted him, the Hornets who traded Bryant on draft night to the Lakers
“It’s funny how sports always seems to kind of have that connectivity in some shape, form or fashion. It just kind of always seems to come full circle.”
He also spoke about how much it meant to him to achieve this honor and why continues to work this hard after 17 years in the league.
“It’s just a tremendous honor, I don’t really know how else to put it. I’ve just been very, very fortunate. I think now, honestly, I don’t know why I’m still working as hard as I am after 17 years. I mean it’s just that I enjoy what I do and I think that’s the thing that I’m most proud of — every year, every day working hard at it. That’s a lot of years, a lot of work.”
This also sparks the debate of where Kobe stands among the all time greats and being a legitimate comparison to Michael who most view as the greatest of all time. When you’re compiling a top 5 and top 10 list most will agree Kobe is a top 10 player all time. Where it gets foggy is, is he a top 5.
I would say he’s close, one more ring would solidify that top 5 claim, and it’s hard to nail that down now as he’s still playing, and who knows how much longer he will play. I believe a more intriguing argument is whether he’s the greatest Los Angeles Laker off all time. When you look at the Lakers long history, Jerry West, Magic Johnson, Kareem, Shaq are all in that conversation of greatest Laker. Most point to Magic as the greatest, but I think there is an argument to be made that Kobe when he’s finished can supplant him as the greatest in team history.
You can vote on the greatest Laker below, five choices Kobe, Shaq, West, Magic and Kareem, who do you choose.