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Kobe youngest player to 28,000 points, not catching Kareem

Jan 2, 2012, 9:10 AM EDT

There’s irony that it came on one of the worst shooting nights of his career, but Kobe Bryant set a historic NBA scoring mark on Sunday night.

With a fourth-quarter free throw Kobe became the youngest player in NBA history to reach 28,oo0 points. Kobe is 33 years, 131 days.

Only five other players in NBA history have scored that many points, period. Kobe needed 1,109 games to get there, but four players who reached this milestone in fewer games (Wilt Chamberlain in just 825 games, Michael Jordan in 886, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1,008 and Karl Malone in 1,070. (The other member of the 28,000 point club is Shaquille O’Neal.

If you’re thinking can Kobe catch Kareem for the all time lead… not really. Kobe is 10,375 points behind the Captain — it would mean Kobe scoring at the rate he has for the past few years for another five years to do it. That’s asking a lot. More likely, Kobe catches MJ (because you know that Kobe wants to).

Kobe was just 6-of-28 shooting in a loss to the Nuggets Sunday, but even that illustrated how Kobe got to this milestone. Kobe’s greatest asset is a confidence and unmatched belief in himself, which allows him to attack constantly and put up gaudy scoring numbers. It also means on an off night he firmly believes that the next shot will fall and he will shoot himself out of this slump. Like a tragic character in a Greek tragedy, Kobe’s greatest strength can be his greatest weakness.

But when he retires, he will rightfully be remembered as one of the game’s greatest scorers.

  1. acdc363 - Jan 2, 2012 at 9:57 AM

    Good for him

  2. keyshawn22 - Jan 2, 2012 at 11:38 AM

    This is the fakest record ever. It says right there in the article that Wilt, Michael, Kareem and Malone all reached the feat in less games. The record should be determined by games played not by age.

    Kobe doesnt belong in the same sentence as those guys anyways, all he does is jack up shots.

    • lvinlegend - Feb 13, 2012 at 5:39 AM

      A response needs to be here for clarity. Now you are by no stretch a sports analyst, however here are some figures to give you a realistic understanding; mathematically first followed by analytically.

      *Chamberlain was the fastest to get to 28K, doing so in 825 games, followed by Jordan (886), Abdul-Jabbar (1,008), Malone (1,070) and Shaq (1,154).
      That makes the AVG no. of games to reach 28k for these 5 (not incl. Bryant) 988.6 GAMES.
      Divide that by 82 games you have it done in 12 seasons on average.
      Kobe took 13.5 seasons (1,109/82 games) needing only 120.4 games more than the average time of these 5 historic players. He is the youngest starter in NBA History at 18 years of age, which means clearly he lacked the professional experience, the 3-4yrs of college ball, that would have better prepared him for NBA caliber basketball. Considering that he was just out of H.S., which is a crucial factor, he essentially developed the professional preparation needed to accomplish this during his ‘extra’ season and a half worth of time – That translates to half of the time of 3 college years or slightly over a third of the time of 4 college years!

      Starting to get it yet? Those 5 NBA Legends played in college and developed there to better compete and become extraordinarily productive professionally. Bryant is the ONLY to not, and likely to be the only one who EVER reaches the mark, and better, that did not. You’re statement, “Kobe doesnt belong in the same sentence as those guys…” is accurate as far as that portion is concerned, because even among the absolute greatest he is extremely special.

      So he may have more FGA than you or the next person prefer…but that’s about as in depth as that observation goes. Hell, haven’t you ever heard it doesn’t hurt to try? If one doesn’t try, one doesn’t succeed. It’s preposterous to argue he hurts his team when BOTH season and Playoff Career Averages are OVER 25ppg 4apg 5rpg 1spg & .5bpg, and when considering he helped acquire 5 rings and the 2008 Olympic Gold Metal; playing injured or playing after court hearings to establish those stats, all “junk” included. Are you beginning to understand? Respect is due to this athlete. The man may be one track minded and have negative characteristics you have names for, but he is not “overrated” for his potential and his talent. End of story.

  3. zblott - Jan 2, 2012 at 12:36 PM

    This is why he plays through injuries while obviously hurting his team’s chances of winning by constantly chucking up junk – to score more points in a vain attempt to pass MJ and eventually Jabaar. What Kobe is doing right now is Exhibit A for fans on how a player can score lots of points and still be a rather large detriment to his team. Thank god LA is still one of the top offensive rebounding clubs in the league or they’d really be sunk right now.

    • genericcommenter - Jan 2, 2012 at 9:55 PM

      If he’s hurting his team by playing, who is supposed to take his spot and “help” the team? Luke Walton?

    • steelerdynasty2010 - Jan 3, 2012 at 10:09 AM

      also, how many of those guys came into the league straight from high school with the caliber of teammates that Kobe had?

  4. diablito0402 - Jan 2, 2012 at 12:49 PM

    Haha jack up shots, game winning shots, pressure shots, shot clock beating shots, championship winning shots, gold medal winning shots, 81 points in one game fade awag shots, should i keep going?

    • steelerdynasty2010 - Jan 3, 2012 at 10:40 AM

      speaking of that 81 point game, how many shot attempts did he have?…..and the next closest teammate had how many?

      i think you inadvertently illustrated his point

      • efueshe - Jan 4, 2012 at 3:36 AM

        28/46, as in 60.8% shooting. 18/20 at the line. 7/13 on 3 point shots. His team was down 18 points before he scored 51 more points. If someone is shooting like that, why would you pass that freakin ball? Do you know anything about professional basketball besides stats that say “if this person shoots alot, he’s a ballhog/gunner”? How many shots did you want him to shoot that game, 30? Would that have nullified your hypothetical ballhog presumption? Well I’m pretty sure the Lakers won that game, (and enough with such a selfish gunner on a team to win 5 chips), so maybe there’s something wrong with your analysis. BTW, Wilt shot 36/63 (57%) in his 100 point game. That’s not to say that Kobe’s game was more impressive off that basis alone, but it should put your nonsensical comment into some perspective. Jordan shot 54% (and took 41 shots) for his 63 point game, which is further evidence that your supposition on Kobe’s ballhogging tendencies on the basis of his 81 point game is completely bogus.

  5. bozosforall - Jan 2, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    As opposed to keyshawn22 who just jacks off shots. Meager, dribble ones.

  6. dadawg77 - Jan 2, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    I don’t think anyone is saying Kobe isn’t a great player but he isn’t close to be GOAT. By skipping College he received a three to four year head start and in the NBA age is games played more then years.

  7. keyshawn22 - Jan 2, 2012 at 8:11 PM

    U mean those 3 titles shaq won? I don’t remember who was MVP of the 3 peat…oh yea it was shaq and he won his last title when his teammates bailed him out bc he went 6-24 in game 7 against a celtics team that just lost Perkins and KG playing on 1 leg while still recovering from surgery.

    Anyone think MJ would ever go 6-24 in an NBA finals game let alone a game 7?? No way in hell.

    Bozo u never have anything to say about basketball just rename yourself bozotheclown

    That game winning shot attempt against the bulls opening day where he tried to force it over 3 guys and had it blocked says it all.

    • borderline1988 - Jan 2, 2012 at 11:33 PM

      Kobe is a top10 player all time. You can’t argue with 5 titles, scoring title, MVP, Finals MVPs, etc. He also has hit what is probably the greatest number of game-winning shots ever (although admittedly, he does take a lot of them).
      And his talent level is off the charts. Could be the most talented player in NBA history. Also, he is very good defensively (maybe a bit overrated in that category, but still well above average), and certainly has great passing ability and is a solid rebounder at his position.

      But you are right – he is nowhere near GOAT level. Shoots way too much. FG% tells the real story. His 6-24 Game 7 performance says something: not that he had a poor shooting night, but that he couldn’t shoot maybe 10 times less and instead make plays for his teammates.
      And fact is, on both Lakers rosters that won championships, Kobe wasn’t the biggest strength on his team. Shaq was for the first 3, and the Lakers frontcourt was in the last 2. How can you compare to Michael Jordan with that in mind? The Bulls had some other great player, but the formula was very simple: The Bulls went as Jordan went. That simply was not necessarily the case for Kobe’s teams.

    • cpaulii - Jan 3, 2012 at 4:28 AM

      “Anyone think MJ would ever go 6-24 in an NBA finals game let alone a game 7?? No way in hell.”

      if you don’t know basketball, please do not comment…

      MJ, 1996 finals vs Seatle did it twice:

      game 4 : 6 of 19 for 31% 0 of 2 from 3points.
      Game 6: 5 of 19 for 26% 1 of 3 from 3 points. ( in the last game, Chicago won the NBA finals)

      anything else u idiot….

  8. diablito0402 - Jan 3, 2012 at 4:04 PM

    Keyshawn 22,,,
    Dont be an idot, shaq had the numberS in the first 3 quarters, down crunch time kobe had the ball, because he can hit freethrows, he was the go to guy with a couple of minutes left, and delivered, do you even know what you talking about or just talking out of your A$$

    • steelerdynasty2010 - Jan 4, 2012 at 11:12 AM

      that’s such a tebow-esque argument. not that kobe is as inept as tebow is, but trying to ignore the rest of the game for the 4th quarter is just lazy.

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