Latest posts by Deshaun Sheppard (see all)
By scoring at least 30,000 points over the course of his career, Kobe Bryant has now done something that only Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan, Karl Malone, and Kareem Abdul Jabar can say they’ve done. Out of all of the many records and milestones that Kobe currently chases every time he steps onto the court, this is definitely one of the most impressive ones. He is the youngest to ever do this and he is still scoring huge outputs at this point in his career. Moving higher and higher on this all time scoring list is very feasible and likely.
This accomplishment becomes even more impressive when you consider everything that he has gone through in his entire career. He started out as an experiment. Drafting a 17 year old kid out of high school could have turned out as a disaster, but it ended up being the complete opposite. This 17 year old kid has become one of the greatest players of all time.
During his first three years in the NBA, Kobe mostly had to come off the bench and prove himself behind guys like Eddie Jones and Nick Van Exel. This had an obvious effect on his scoring in the statistical category as he averaged a mere 7.6 points per game during his rookie campaign. This is something that has to be taken into consideration when you think about guys like Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, and Carmelo Anthony. All of these guys entered the league as starters and faces of their respective franchise. Even after Kobe’s minutes increased, he still had to play second fiddle to Shaquille O’Neal for quite some time. To have reached 30,000 points at the age of 34 after his slow NBA career start must have taken some very amazing scoring in a short period of time.
The moment that Kobe Bryant’s minutes increased under Phil Jackson, his scoring also increased. In the 2000-01 season, Kobe averaged 28.5 points per game. After this season, the sky was the limit for Bryant. Even along side of Shaq, Kobe averaged 30 points per game in the 2002-03 season. He scored 40 or more points in 9 consecutive games while averaging 40.6 points per game for the entire month of February. Historic performances like this early in his career definitely made up for the time lost coming off the bench for the first three years of his career.
Kobe then went through much more drama then any Laker fan would have liked him to. His rape accusations and the departure of Shaq had the potential to surely damage his career, but none of this stopped him from making history. In the 2005-06 season, Kobe would show the World that he was the best player in the league. On December 20, 2005, Kobe scored more points than the Dallas Mavericks at the end of three quarters. He had 62 to their 61. This had never been done before through three quarters by an NBA player.
During that same season, Kobe scored a historic 81 points against the Toronto Raptors. This is the second-highest point total in NBA history. During the same month of this 81 point game, Kobe scored 45 points or more in four consecutive games, which is something that only Wilt Chamberlain and Elgin Baylor had done. Kobe averaged 43.4 points per game for the month of January in 2006. In that season, he had 27 forty-point games and scored a total of 2,382 points, which were both Laker franchise records. He ended that season averaging 35.4 points per game.
During the 06-07 season, he continued his amazing scoring. He scored at least 50 points in four straight games by scoring 65 points against the Blazers, 50 against the Timberwolves, 60 against the Grizzlies, and 50 against the Hornets. This was also only done by Wilt Chamberlain.
The following season, Kobe became the youngest player to reach 20,000 points. In 2009, against the Knicks, Kobe set a Madison Square Garden record with 61 points. He then continued to move up on the all time scoring list as he went from 12th to 6th in the 2010-11 season. As many people began to claim that he lost a step because of age and injuries, Kobe continued to score point after point. Just last season, he scored 48 points against the Suns, which was the most ever by a player in his 16th season. He then scored 40, 42, and 42 in his next three games, which led to his sixth time scoring at least 40 points in four straight games.
At the age of 34, Kobe Bryant currently leads the league in scoring. He is moving closer and closer to the guys ahead of him on this scoring list. To have done all that he has done in his storied career is absolutely amazing and should be highly appreciated. Reaching this amount of points took remaining healthy, playing through injury, and resilience. On his quick route to 30,000 points, Kobe Bryant did things that NBA fans had never seen before. These amazing point totals are only a small portion of what has made Kobe Bryant one of the greatest players of all time. It’ll be very interesting to see how much gas is still left in that tank and what other accomplishments Kobe Bryant will achieve before his historic career comes to an end.