UPDATE: Kobe achieved the milestone of fifth all-time in most minutes played during the opening minutes of the third quarter. Congratulations, Kobe!
Kobe Bryant has played lots and lots of basketball during his career.
According to Mike Trudell of Lakers.com, Bryant is set to move up to fifth on the list of most minutes played by an NBA player tonight when the Lakers take on the Atlanta Hawks.
Bryant needs to play for just 20 minutes to reach the milestone:
[pullquote]When Kobe Bryant hits the 20-minute mark against Atlanta on Monday evening, he will have been on an NBA basketball court for more time than all but four players in the history of basketball.
When you combine his 45,502 regular season minutes and his 8,641 playoff minutes, Bryant has played 54,143 in his 18 seasons, the sixth-most in history. And with 20 more minutes, he’ll surpass Hall of Famers Elvin Hayes (54,160) and John Stockton (54,162).[/pullquote]
Going into tonight’s game, Elvin Hayes is just 17 minutes ahead of Kobe at number 6, while John Stockton is at fifth due to being 19 minutes ahead. With just 20 minutes on the court tonight, Bryant will move up to fifth.
Next up in fourth place is Wilt Chamberlain at 55,618. It’d likely take Kobe around 48 games at 30 minutes per game to reach Wilt.
Laker legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the all-time minutes leader with 66,297. Bryant would need to play around 400 games at 30 minutes per game to reach The Captain, which is closing in on five more seasons. That’s discounting any playoff minutes, though.