Kobe Passes Wilt for Fourth All-Time
Continuing his assault up the list of the NBA's greatest scorers in history, Kobe Bryant became the fourth greatest to ever fill up the basket with 19 points at Sacramento on Saturday night, having needed only five to surpass Wilt Chamberlain's 31,419 career points.
Here's the list of scoring legends:
- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: 38,387
- Karl Malone: 36,928
- Michael Jordan: 32,292
- Kobe Bryant: 31,434
- Wilt Chamberlain: 31,419
Despite a bone spur in his left foot and sprained left ankle, there was Bryant on the floor, adding 14 assists and 9 rebounds along with those 19 points, to leave only three more players that have ever laced 'em up ahead of him.
Bryant also ranks second in NBA history for total points with a single franchise, passing Jordan's 29,277 with Chicago in L.A.'s March 27, 2012 victory at vs. Golden State. Only Malone's 36,374 with Utah beat Kobe's current mark. For the Lakers record, Bryant surpassed the great Jerry West during the 2009-10 season, West having scored 25,192 in purple and gold.
How many more points Bryant scores appears to be up to him, and how many more seasons he wants to play. One suspects he'd want to at least surpass Jordan, the man after whom he shaped his game and drive more than anybody else.
Only time will tell on that one. Regardless, ranking fourth in the history of basketball is already a much more impressive task than current perspective can lend to the feat.