Kobe Bryant Overtakes Michael Jordan As Third In All-time Point Scorers
Kobe Bryant has etched his name in the record books this weekend after surpassing the all-time career point scorer record set by Michael Jordan. Number 24 now occupies position number three as all-time top scorer, preceded only by Carl Malone (36,928pts) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387pts).
Sunday night marked the high-point of Bryant’s career, now in season 19 of his professional basketball career, when he surpassed 32,293 points, becoming 3rd overall.
Prior to breaking Jordan’s record, Bryant’s high point must have been in 2006 when he scored an astounding 81 points in a single game. This is the second highest amount of points produced by a single player in a single game. The record still goes to Wilt Chamberlain, when he scored 100pts against the New York Knicks while playing for the Philadelphia Warriors in 1962.
Phil Jackson, coach to both Bryant and Jordan and holder of 11 titles (6 with Jordan’s Bulls and 5 with Bryant’s Lakers) offered his own view on the build up to the occasion, stating Bryant was “hell-bent on surpassing Jordan as the greatest player in the game.” A claim Bryant disputes, saying “It’s really not a big deal to say I passed him for something like that. It’s a great accomplishment, but the true beauty is in the journey.”
Michael Jordan extended his congratulations when the news broke. “I congratulate Kobe on reaching this milestone,” according to Jordan in a statement released to the Associated Press. “He’s obviously a great player, with a strong work ethic and has an equally strong passion for the game of basketball. I’ve enjoyed watching his game evolve over the years, and I look forward to seeing what he accomplishes next.”
Naturally, Nike chose to capitalize on the occasion with a limited release of the “Mamba Moment” shoe, available online with a price tag of $245.
Bryant released a statement following the many accolades he received from friends, fans, and colleagues, “I’m just honoured to be here, man, to still be playing. I appreciate being able to play this long. Careers normally don’t last this long. I really appreciate the opportunity to still be out there playing and performing and doing what I do.”
The 16-time All-Star claimed his record-breaking feat after being sent to the line against Minnesota’s Zach Levine in the second quarter. Bryant’s first free throw would tie Jordan’s record, while the second would surpass it. The crowd lauded Brant with a standing ovation.