Kobe Bryant the 4th place in the NBA’s All-Time scoring list. With that jumper in last night’s Lakers win, the Black Mamba totaled 31,421 points in his career and took over the 4th spot from former superstar and Hall-of-Famer Wilt Chamberlain. It was another historic moment for No.24 and for LA, too. Now the rest of the spots all the way to number One are ahead. Can Kobe become the NBA’s All-Time leading scorer?
Well, first of all we’ll have to do some quick math. After last night, Kobe now has 31,434 points in his resume. The next target is the 3rd spot, currently held by His Airness, Michael Jordan. MJ has 32,292 in total, which will most probably be an easy target for Kobe to reach. Keeping in mind that Kobe averages almost 25 PPG for his career, we could say that he will reach the 3rd spot somewhere around early 2014, or even late December 2013. In total, during a whole season, Kobe scores about 2,000 points. Nevertheless, this season he is averaging a bit over his career average, at 27.1 PPG.
Despite the 3rd spot could an easy one for the Black Mamba, the road to the 2nd and the 1st ones is not a bed full of roses. Karl Malone is ranked second with 36,928 and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the All-Time leader with 38,387.
Even if Kobe manages to average almost 2,000 points per season, which is not easy, he will need three seasons with such performances to cling the 2nd seed. That could happen of course, if he only manages to stay healthy and play inmost of the 82 games of a season and also during the Playoffs without significant reduction to his scoring numbers.
While Malone could be a reachable target, the 1st spot is a longshot for Kobe. If he manages to retain his scoring averages as he enters the second half of his 30’s he will be able to catch Abdul-Jabbar somewhere around the middle of the 2016-17 season. On the other hand, if, for any reason, his scoring drops, then he will be able to get close to the leading spot in his 38 or 39 years of age. Plus, if we could predict some kind of injuries that would cost Kobe 10-15 games a season, then this period extends even more.It’s natural for any player to experience a reduction at his scoring firepower as he ages and enters the last stages of his career.
Up to now, Kobe has proved he is the exception to the rule. Not only his scoring hasn’t dropped, but he is in fact scoring more than his career average this season. In addition, some other aspects of his game, like distributing the ball have ascended to surface. Can he continue all the way to the 1st spot and become the NBA’s All-Time scoring leader? This should be a fascinating fact to monitor.
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