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Kobe wants to pass Jordan on all-time scoring list

Jul 22, 2011, 12:10 PM EDT

Kobe Bryant Michael Jordan

I’m not sure how this is surprising to anyone.

In an article discussing how an extended lockout could impact Kobe Bryant’s assault on the record books, Mark Medina at the Los Angeles Times wrote about how Kobe really wants to pass Michael Jordan on the all-time scoring list even though Kobe denies it at every opportunity.

But not many believed him, including Phil Jackson. When I asked the former Lakers coach last season which player Bryant wants to pass on the scoring list the most, Jackson replied without hesitation, “Michael Jordan.” Bryant argued that wasn’t true and continued touting his sole motivation entails trying to minimize the gap between Bill Russell’s 11 NBA titles and his own five. Bryant isn’t lying when he says that’s his main motivation, but it’s misleading to act indifferent about it when teammates, media and the general public know he’s driven to be the best player ever.

For the record, Jordan is third on the all-time regular season scoring list with 32,292 points. Kobe is eighth on the list 4,424 behind him. At the rate Kobe has scored the last five seasons, it would take a little more than two seasons for Kobe to move past him. Even if Kobe’s scoring dips with age some, this is a reachable goal in three seasons.

Not sure any of this is new to anyone who has been a basketball fan the last decade. Whether he wanted to or not, Kobe will never be able to escape the comparisons to Jordan, or escape the shadow. Kobe welcomes that, for him it is just another goal, another mountain to climb.

What Kobe really shares with Jordan is competitive fire and work ethic. Both need to be the alpha male on a team — when rookie Kobe joined the Lakers he used to challenge all his veteran teammates to games of one-on-one to prove he could beat them. When Team USA went to Beijing for the 2008 Olympics, other star teammates were amazed at how hard Kobe worked at his game and in the weight room.

But in Jordan Kobe is not just competing against the arguable GOAT, but a growing legend. Jordan has become almost unassailable in people’s minds. His stature as an icon and as still one of the most popular people in American sport remains. And that is impossible to top, even for Kobe.

  1. cam3420 - Jul 22, 2011 at 12:19 PM

    exactly u cant top him kobe u can break all his records and u still wont be close to his AIRNESS

    • bbrump - Jan 10, 2012 at 7:34 AM

      Let’s get real for a second people, the article ended at the end of the last sentence of the first paragraph, “even though Kobe denies it at every opportunity.”

      Journalist are paid to write things that attracts people to read. People who read without thinking blindly believe in the journalist and started making hateful comments. This is one of the many ways evil engenders and perpetuates in our world.

      • Kurt Helin - Jan 10, 2012 at 1:52 PM

        Do you think that Kobe actually tells the truth every time he speaks? Or people in politics? Really?

      • davidly - Jan 10, 2012 at 2:01 PM

        The suggestion that he would want to pass Jordan (and no one else) implies a person with a GOAT complex. One may write it off as respect for his competitive nature, but it sounds to me like trash (talk) journalism to insinuate that he is not telling the truth about what amounts to something relatively meaningless, especially when compared to politicians, who make grand speeches to justify the killing of untold numbers of human beings.

  2. edmazeing1 - Jul 22, 2011 at 12:21 PM

    I think the world will end b4 a basketball player is looked at higher then MJ!!!

  3. edmazeing1 - Jul 22, 2011 at 12:25 PM

    To the guy above me I would not have did my comment had I knew u was writeing basicly same comment as me, good stuff tho man no hate from me!!!

  4. ibchuck33 - Jul 22, 2011 at 12:33 PM

    And Kobe will never be as liked or loved as Michael Jordan was or continues to be. A lot of people just straight up don’t like Kobe for whatever reason.

    • jrmcool20 - Jul 22, 2011 at 12:57 PM

      i agree that kobe wont ever be liked like jordan ,, but even if kobe was liked by fans like jordan kobe STILL will never have what jordan had ,, kobe is close to jordan but no matter what kobe does or did , he dont have that EDGE like jordan had,, NO players out there today have what jordan had when mj played ,, also kobe and james and players like them started playing alot earlier than mj ,, kobe was 17 ,, james 18 ok so it dont matter what them players do in the nba they STILL will never be what jordan was and thats the best at having THAT E D G E and heart ,, jordan could do what ever he wanted on the court..and at anytime he wanted to do it !!!

  5. jrmcool20 - Jul 22, 2011 at 12:47 PM

    it dont matter if kobe passes MJ .. it really dont , because even though i like kobe s game and he is a great player , jordan just had that extra special THING ,, about his game that I THINK kobe just lacks ,, but kobe i will say this , that kobe is about the closest player of talent since jordan ,, forget lebron, and the rest of them ok james will NEVER even be as good as kobe so how can he be on the level of a JORDAN , when kobe is the closest since jordan , james and the rest of them are no way like jordan i think james has showed us all that in the 2 finals that he,s been in !!! but again there will never be another jordan,, only some players will come close but not close enough !!!

  6. trueballs - Jul 22, 2011 at 12:48 PM

    He could pass Jordan in scoring and championships and he still won’t be better. If jordan didn’t retire in the middle of his prime…heck if he didn’t retire after his last ring….he would easily have another 5000 pts on there. Not to mention MJ did all this with a career 50% shooting.

  7. darthsat - Jul 22, 2011 at 1:11 PM

    The fact that Kobe has already played in more games than MJ and still trails him in most stats says it all to me. I could care less if Kobe plays in 200 more games and finally scores more points than Jordan.

  8. crazyguy358 - Jul 22, 2011 at 2:52 PM

    Kobe did play in the ending time of jordan and I think kobe could top him just let him be him

    • themanchine - Jul 22, 2011 at 6:10 PM

      at least you have an accurate handle

  9. diablito0402 - Jul 22, 2011 at 3:56 PM

    This is good, people saying kobe could never be jordan, what about what pip said about lechoke being better than mj answer me that,, hahahahaha i just think its funny lebum and mj in the same parragraph.

  10. willhnic - Jul 22, 2011 at 4:26 PM

    Kobe should easily pass Jordan. Overall points don’t matter…

    1. Kobe started earlier…went straight to NBA
    2. Jordan retired before his time..twice
    3. Lakers played more games in playoffs to win

    Anyway…avg pts per game is the indicator…not overall points scored. Bow to Jordan!

    • wvan10 - Jul 24, 2011 at 9:22 AM

      All of you seem to be forgetting Kobe wasn’t even asked to be his teams offensive focal point until he was 6 or 7 years into his career. MJ had the Bulls offensively from day 1. If Kobe had been given free reign on offense he would have already shattered Jordan’s scoring mark considering he got an early start on Jordan in terms of age his career started. Its not about scoring with these two great players. What separates them is the best defensive guard in all time in MJ and a still elite defensive player in Kobe. That’s it in my mind. Jordan could change a game by himself…..on DEFENSE. Kobe is still Kobe, and may have a bigger drive and will to win than MJ. I’d take em both right now.

    • Mr. Wright 212 - Jan 13, 2012 at 2:33 PM

      Kobe also didn’t START out of the gate like Jordan did, either. PPG doesn’t matter EITHER.

    • connaniii - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:59 AM

      Not only that, remember MJ lost his first season due to an ACH T injury, besides MJ never lost a final! and he was MVP in every final he played in!

  11. goforthanddie - Jul 22, 2011 at 8:44 PM

    MJ was an egotistical, arrogant player who was the absolute best of his era.
    Kobe’s an egotistical, arrogant player who was the absolute best of his era.
    Both of them have multiple rings. Both of them cheated on their women.
    The difference between them? Kobe stuck it in the wrong woman and doesn’t have a gambling problem.

  12. connaniii - Jul 22, 2011 at 9:04 PM

    No matter what Kobe does or how many of Jordan´s records he breaks he will never be regarded as equal of “His Airness”; Kobe is just a copycat a very good one at that, one who has mastered most if not all of M.J´s famous moves, but Michael´s greatness will never be matched. For beginners he´s the only player ever to have won both the scoring championship and league title every year he won the second one. Only two other players managed to do it once, Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem know then as Lew Alcindor. MJ did it every year he won the league title. On the other hand Kobe might end up with more points than Jordan, but never with a higher average.

  13. ocgunslinger - Jul 22, 2011 at 10:25 PM

    Jordan or Bryant…..Bryant or Jordan. #1 or #2……#2 or #1. Who really cares as we all had the opportunity of watching of two of the greatest ever to play the game.

  14. urodaddy07 - Jul 22, 2011 at 11:18 PM

    Some of you guys really piss me off. If you are real fans of the game then I don’t get why it is you have knock one player down to build the other up. These 2 guys are great great players. It’s fine if you think MJ is better than Kobe (or the other way around) but what’s with names and the insults.
    Anyway, my take on this is that MJ was the overall the better player, he was more consistently able to dominate his opponent, he was more athletic. I say this although I am a Kobe and Laker fan through and through. Kobe is a better shooter though and that might help him accumulate points later in his career. I think it’s a great thing for the game for him to come out and say he wants the scoring record, makes it exciting and if it happens it does not diminish MJ and it won’t change my opinion of who’s better.

  15. passerby23 - Jul 23, 2011 at 12:28 AM

    I hate to re-hash this everytime the Kobe-Jordan comparisons come up, but if you break down the numbers, it’s not even close. Jordan is the best. Even if Kobe wins another couple rings, the most remarkable thing about Jordan in my mind is he did it all without a dominant big man, while Kobe has ONLY won with a dominant big man. Putting the stats aside, that is a major difference between the two in my mind.

  16. boondocksaint224 - Jul 23, 2011 at 4:07 AM

    Kobe is incredible, no doubt, but in my mind, there’s no comparison. Just look at their numbers in the postseason. Kobe has averaged 25/5/5 while MJ averaged 33/6/6. Those are absolutely awesome numbers.

  17. fridge843 - Jul 23, 2011 at 9:33 AM

    Well well well. Will Kobe every be better then Jordan! Survey says no. KOBE CAN PLAY, BUT THE GAME BELONGS TO JORDAN!!!!! Check tape, i believe that the stats make the man, on paper Kobe fans or “true nba lovers” can argue there point. But. . . . it you check tape and see the things Jordan had to do to score and how he had to dominate just to win season games. Kobe’s name shouldn’t even be in the same sentence. PUSSIE FOULS they call these days easily makes the games less physical! NO ONE PUTS THERE BODY ON THE LINE SINCE IVERSON! No one goes hard in the season til after all star break so Kobe has the scoring advantage bin my book. Jordan BANGED with the best and came out on top. Who has Kobe banged with. His big men did all the work. Hey i just call it how i c it. Kobe can play. But the game will always belong to Jordan!

    • goforthanddie - Jul 24, 2011 at 3:16 AM

      RANDOM capitalization and MISSPELLINGS are not the BEST WAY to make a POINT. AND this isn’t TWATTER, you can SPELL words out with NO CHARACTER limit.

  18. urodaddy07 - Jul 23, 2011 at 10:58 PM

    Hey fridge I agreevthat MJ is better but I watched a lot of Jordan and he got a lot of calls his way, calls that most other players would get.

  19. jaypace - Jul 25, 2011 at 9:46 AM

    Kobe is great. Mj he is not. People like to say he is a closer and he is. When did mike ever get swept out of the playoffs? Kobe is great. But clearly his game is modeled after mj. Mj went for your heart, if he had to score 50 in a playoff game for his team to win, he would score 50. Don’t try to let stats tell you what your eyes clearly see mj was the superior talent. No disrespect to Kobe who I like. That why people consider mj the best player ever even though he’s third all time in scoring.

  20. fouldwimmerlaik - Jul 26, 2011 at 12:33 PM

    I have 12 Kobe Bryant Action Figures in the basement of my parents’ house. I don’t think they even MAKE a Michael Jordan Action Figure. Kobe wins that one right off the bat.

    Kobe will always be the best in my book. He is a god and a mentor. He is The Man in the NBA when there are no men. He is the greatest of all time. Anyone who doesn’t realize that is a wanker. It doesn’t matter how many points either has scored, how many championships have been won, or how many superstars they have played with, Kobe is the out-and-out best.

    I understand there are two sides to every argument, but in this argument, I am right.

  21. louxi - Jul 27, 2011 at 2:31 AM

    go kobe! chase….mj!!
    he can chase the scoring points…even the rings he can have 7… the maybe, he is better, or he;s gonna get better than mj when this happens.

    mj is the past, kobe is the present.. there were no toys or actions figures before, more oof posters on our wall..lol, but just for the sake of argument..kobe is unbelievable, scoring like mj never did..having that instict, killer instinct..

    kobe will never be mj. because kobe lost already during finals..even for that alone. there is a difference..yeah, greater team and such..but he is a great player..he can score at will..like mj.

    goodluck kobe!! my dad loves you, so as millions or even billions out there!!.. you deserve the praises not the negativities around & comparison, il remember you as kobe, not the next mj or better than mj.
    just kobe. i think thats fine..

    finally, it takes forever….to diminish michael jordan. after the stats,awards..regardless, someone will be better… with impact? i dont think so.. even with all this social media, imagine what it would be like before, scary..

  22. icelovinbrotha215 - Jul 29, 2011 at 11:58 AM

    I’m going for the same record in NBA 2k11.

  23. davidly - Aug 8, 2011 at 12:29 PM

    Bryant’s career is too close to Jordan’s for him to surpass him in anything but scoring (and maybe titles).

    Those who grew up watching Russell will remember him as the greatest. The fact that he retired long before MJ joined the league is the primary reason he and his six championships stand alone in modern memory.

    If anyone takes over the mantel of greatest of all time, it will be somebody who starts playing after Bryant is gone. Unless, of course, James wins six titles.

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