Kobe Passes Wilt Chamberlain On All-Time Scorers List
March 31 / Jake O'Donnell / SportsGrid
Maybe when he said he's planning on retiring soon, he meant after he passes Jordan. All signs indicate that he will, given his relatively healthy 17 year career. Not surprisingly, the top 10 career point list reads like a who's who of avoiding catastrophic injuries -- or at least the will to fight through them. For that reason alone, Kobe's is poised to continue climbing the rankings.
Consider this: Kobe already has 1,950 pts this season, meaning that if he were to continue on this pace next year, we'll be talking about MJ moving out of the top 3, which would be huge for the sport. Were he to stick around 4 more years, at the plausible rate of 2,000 points per season, Kobe would be damn near dethroning another Laker legend at the #1 spot. Think thats a long time for him to stick around? Consider this. Kobe just told CBS Sports that all he's concerned with is getting that 6th ring.
"I just want No. 6, man," Bryant said, referring to his championship count, when asked where he wanted to finish on the all-time scoring list when he retires. "I'm not asking for too much, man. Just give me a sixth ring, damn it."
Given his team's relative obscurity this year (quality-wise, not publicity-wise), there's very little likelihood of this Laker team coming out of the West, let alone beating the record setting basketball juggernauts in Miami. So he'll need to wait at least 4 years before LeBron gets bored and moves back to Cleveland, or maybe comes to L.A. in 2014, before that Jordan tying 6th ring is within reason.
Unfortunately for Kobe, by then LeBron or Kevin Durant will already be well on there way to the summit of the most important individual statistical list in professional basketball. Let's just hope they can enjoy the kind of longevity Kobe and the other's in the top 10 have:
1 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 38,387
2 Karl Malone 36,928
3 Michael Jordan 32,292
4 Kobe Bryant 31,434
5 Wilt Chamberlain 31,419
6 Shaquille O'Neal 28,596
7 Moses Malone 27,409
8 Elvin Hayes 27,313
9 Hakeem Olajuwon 26,946
10 Oscar Robertson 26,710