Kobe Bryant vs. Michael Jordan, in 1 chart
Kobe may have passed his idol as an all-time scorer, but it took him a lot longer than MJ.
Kobe Bryant’s feat — to score 32,310 points, placing him third on the all-time scoring list — is an incredible achievement. Bryant has long been the NBA’s most explosive scorer, and that longevity has been rewarded in the record books. He still has good years ahead, as well, thanks in part to entering the league at age 18. He’ll easily hit 33,000 and likely beyond. Catching Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s 38,387 for No. 1 is looking unlikely, but Karl Malone at No. 2 with 36,928 is possible.
Of course, the man he passed Sunday is Michael Jordan, Bryant’s obvious stylistic inspiration. To put Bryant’s amazing accomplishment in perspective, it’s worth looking at just how Jordan got to 32,292.
Again, Bryant’s accomplishment is incredible. But Jordan was so damn good that he got there in 197 fewer games and on 783 fewer shots. (We’re rolling free throws into shots with a 0.44 multiplier.) And Jordan did it without relying on the three-ball much.
Both players did something amazing. Considering what we’ve seen from Bryant, though, Jordan’s stats are almost unbelievable.