Kobe Bryant is a scorer, he’s said so himself, that’s just how he plays the game, to score the rock. So it’s no surprise to hear the greatest scorer in the game is climbing the ladder to the top where the great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar rests upon his throne.
At the end of tonight’s emphatic win at Minnesota Bryant scored 31 points putting him at 31,385 career points, good for fifth all-time which he’s held since February 2012. Wilt Chamberlain sits right above him at 31,419 career points, which means Bryant is a mere 34 points away from the record itself and 35 points away from keeping fourth place all to himself.
Barely ahead of fourth place is the illustrious Michael Jordan at 32,292 career points. Kobe is 908 points away from breaking that record and currently Bryant is averaging 27 points a game, at that pace it would take him about another 34 games to take over Jordan for third place. More than likely Jordan is who Bryant is aiming at, just as he’s aiming at that elusive sixth ring that Jordan holds so dear.
Distancing himself from third-fifth place is Karl Malone at 36,928 career points. Bryant would need about 205 games at 27 PPG to take over second place on the list, still attainable for Bryant as this is about two and a half more full seasons.
38,387 points is perched at the top by some guy named Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and that milestone may never be eclipsed. Bryant, at 27 PPG, would have to play 259 more
games at that pace to take out the all-time leader. That number marks just over 3 more seasons of Bryant playing at the level he’s currently at, not impossible for a player such as Bryant, but at 37 years old it’s a lot to ask. That’s also assuming he plays that long, and doesn’t miss any time to injury. Bryant has previously said he has no desire to play past his prime or the high level he and everyone around him has been so accustomed to seeing night in and night out for the past 16 years.
Bryant deserves to go down as the greatest scorer the NBA has ever seen, even if he falls short of Kareem’s highly esteemed record. However records are meant to be broken, and records are never completely safe, so Laker Nation I ask you this: Will Kobe eclipse Kareem and become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer before his career is finished?