Kobe Bryant is now the third leading scorer in NBA history.
Kobe Bryant added another notch to his Hall-of-Fame belt Sunday evening when he passed Michael Jordan for the third spot on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. The achievement came during a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Coming into the night, Kobe needed just nine points to pass Air Jordan for third all-time on the scoring list. Bryant passed Jordan by hitting a free throw in the second quarter of the Lakers’ Sunday night win over the T-Wolves. In a 100-94 victory, Kobe finished the game with 26 points, and now has 32,310 points for his career.
The Los Angeles Lakers haven’t been impressive this season as a team, but Kobe has been a much needed and appreciated bright spot for this franchise. He has returned to his old form after two injury-shortened seasons, and is averaging 25.4 points per game, which is third in the league.
When Jordan retired from the game for good, Bryant was symbolically named the heir apparent to Jordan as the game’s best player. The two have compiled a number of similar accomplishments, all while having very identical styles of play and similar personalities. While Jordan has the edge over Kobe in several categories, Kobe now has the edge in a very distinguished category.
After passing Jordan, Kobe was congratulated by members of both the Lakers and the Timberwolves. The Minnesota home crowd also gave him a standing ovation. Michael Jordan congratulated Kobe through a statement with the Associated Press. Laker great Irving “Magic” Johnson tweeted a congratulations to Bryant. Longtime adversary LeBron James also tweeted a congratulations to Bryant.
The only two players now ahead of Kobe on the all-time scoring list are Kobe’s former teammate Karl Malone, who is second all-time with 36,928 points, and the all-time leading scorer in league history, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who has 38,387 career points.