The comparisons throughout Kobe Bryant’s career with Michael Jordan will possibly never end. Yet, this week, Bryant carved out his own undeniable niche in NBA history as the youngest player ever to score 30,000 points. He reached the landmark in 34 years and 104 days.
"It's just a tremendous honor," Bryant told reporters after finishing with 29 points in the Lakers' 103-87 win. "I don't really know how else to put it. I've just been very, very fortunate."
The bucket that gave Bryant the record occurred as he was slashing to the basket showing the aggression to get to the rim that is still a signature part of his game. Some have questioned how many more years Bryant has left in him, but after finishing second for the scoring title last season, he still looks more than capable of taking over an NBA game at will.
Bryant joins Chamberlain (31,419 points), Kareen Abdul-Jabbar (38,387), Karl Malone (36,928) and Michael Jordan (32,292) as the only five players in NBA history to reach the 30,000-point plateau. This is hallowed company indeed.
Twitter erupted with congratulations for Bryant.
"Congratulations to the best scorer in the planet, mate and friend, Kobe! for joining the 30.000 points club!! Huge accomplishment! #Kobe30K," wrote Pau Gasol.
Even former teammate Shaquille O’Neal who had a rocky relationship with Bryant tweeted "CONGRATS 2 THE GREAT KOBE "BEAN" BRYANT 4 DROPPING 30,004 POINTS OVER HIS CAREER AND STILL COUNTING.”
Said Bryant: "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."
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