The basketball world was on its toes when future NBA Hall of Famer, Kobe Bryant, surpassed Michael Jordan to become third on the league’s all-time scoring list.
Bryant, 36, is now in his 19th season, sits behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone with 32,293 points. Hoop fans (and Kobe, admittedly) have compared the Black Mamba to Michael Jordan ever since the former entered the league as a wet-behind-the-ears rookie. The history-making event came when Bryant sank two free throws in the second quarter against the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center.
“I’m just honored to be here, man, to still be playing,” Bryant said. “I appreciate being able to play this long. Careers normally don’t last this long. I really appreciate the opportunity to still be out there playing and performing and doing what I do.” Prior to Sunday’s 100-94 win against the Timberwolves, Bryant was only eight points shy of Jordan’s 32,292 points. The Los Angeles Laker finished the game with 26 points on 7-of-20 shooting to go along with six rebounds and two assists.
The milestone is not one to be taken lightly, as Bryant begins his NBA farewell tour, basketball analysts have measured every achievement against his idol, Michael Jordan, ever since 1996 – the year Bryant entered in the NBA at the age of 18. “I congratulate Kobe on reaching this milestone,” Jordan told the Associated Press in a statement. “He’s obviously a great player, with a strong work ethic and has an equally strong passion for the game of basketball. I’ve enjoyed watching his game evolve over the years, and I look forward to seeing what he accomplishes next.”
Bryant was equally fond in his praise for the greatest NBA player to enjoy the game, saying, “He knows how much I’ve learned from him. From the other legends, but him particular.” “It’s really not a big deal to say I passed him for something like that,” Bryant said. “It’s a great accomplishment, but the true beauty is in the journey.” To commemorate the achievement, Nike, which sponsors both Bryant and Jordan, put a special edition “Mamba Moment” shoe on sale online for $245.
On the following pages, NBA fans both known and unknown share congratulatory praises to Kobe Bean Bryant for his history-setting accomplishment.
SOURCE: Ball Is Life