On December 14, 2014 in Minnesota, Kobe Bryant made history and moved up on the NBA’s All Time Scoring list. In a game between the Los Langeles Lakers and the Minnesota Timberwolves, Bryant scored 29 points. With the points scored in this game Bryant now holds the 3rd spot on the NBA’s most precious record list. He passed Jordan on a free throw in the first half (Bryant’s first career point also came via a free throw). Following this milestone point Bryant received great applause from the Minnesota crowd and was congratulated by both teams.
Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan during the 1997-1998 basketball season. (Getty Images)
Michael Jordan was the previously held the 3rd position with 32,292 points scored during his 14 seasons in the NBA. It took Kobe Bryant 19 seasons to pass the legendary Jordan. Bryant appears to be nearing the end of his career which would mean that he not move up any further on the list. Karl Malone is the NBA’s 2nd All Time Points Leader with 36,928 points. In order for Bryant to reach this mark he would need to stay healthy and play for at least 3-4 more seasons.
Kobe Byrant has had a few injury plagued seasons lately due to his age and the effects of 19 seasons in the NBA. Interesting enough Bryant broke another record this year in the NBA, most career missed shots. This happened on November 11, 2014 when missed his 13,418 missed shot.
Kobe Bryant (Getty Images)
Kobe Bryant is definitely a living legend and one of the all time great in the game of basketball. This latest accomplishment will surely have people debating whether he is a better player than Michael Jordan was. Beyond the records and accomplishments it is safe to say they were both two of the best basketball players of the modern era.
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In 1997 Michael Jordan had already amassed a career of incredible highlights and amazing records. He had won 4 NBA titles, awarded as the NBA’s MVP 4 times and named the NBA Finals MVP 4 times. His legacy was already set to be considered one of the greatest basketball players of all times. Up to that point he had many memorable moments. The most notable was the game against the Cavaliers in the NBA Playoffs were he made “The Shot” in 1989. One of the last memorable moments and possibly the biggest of his career came in the 1997 NBA Finals.
On June 11, 1997 the Chicago Bulls took on the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City, Utah. It was Game 5 of the NBA Finals and the series was tied at 2-2. The day before the game Michael Jordan became severely ill. Jordan had a fever and was not able to keep any food down. He was found in the fetal position by his trainer and was very fatigued. Many who were close to the situation believed there was no way he would play the next day.
Michael Jordan during “The Flu Game” (Gety Images”
When the game started Michael Jordan was visibly weak and pale in color. The Bulls fell to an early 16-point deficit in the second quarter and with Jordan not feeling well were in a hole. At halftime the score was 53-49 in favor of the Jazz. The third quarter found Jordan on the bench trying to rest and looking in even worse shape than he had at the beginning of the game. When the fourth quarter began Jordan was back in the game and scored 15 of the Bulls 23 points in the final quarter of the game. The most dramatic plays of the game came in the final minute. Jordan was able to make a 3-pointer to give the Bulls a 88-85 lead with just 25 seconds remaining in the game. The next play was a dunk by Greg Ostertag of the Jazz which took the Bulls lead to only one point. The Bulls were able to raise the score again with a dunk by Luc Longley. With just a few seconds remaining and the Jazz down by 3 points John Stockton was fouled and was now at the free throw line. He needed to make both free throws for the Jazz to be able to stay in the game. When he missed the first free throw the game was sealed. The Bulls had over come this daunting game and won by a score of 90-88. Michael Jordan then collapsed into Scottie Pippen’s arms, this image would forever be considered the trademark picture for this game. Jordan finished the game with 39 points, 11 rebounds and 4 assists.
Scottie Pippen holding a weak Michael Jordan in the final seconds of “The Flu Game” (Getty Images)
The Bulls would go on to win Game 6 and their 5th NBA Title. It has been reported in later years that he did not have the flu but instead had food poisoning. Regardless of that fact this game was an incredible show of strength and determination for Michael Jordan. Jordan will be remembered long after his days on this earth and this game will be considered one of his best for all future generations who will read about him.
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On Saturday night March 30, 2013 Kobe Bryant moved up on the all time scoring list. Kobe Bryant surpassed NBA Hall Of Famer Wilt Chamberlain to become 4th on the list of the basketball greatest scorers. Bryant scored 19 points in the Lakers victory over the Kings in Sacramento, CA. Bryant now stands at 31,434 points for his career.
He now is behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone and Michael Jordan. Jordan is holding the 3rd spot on the list with 32,292. There are only 858 points separating Jordan and Kobe now. Bryant has already scored 1931 points this season. He has scored 2,000 points per season through his career. It is highly likely he will pass Jordan next season and take the 3rd position on the all time scoring list. When he passes Jordan he will elevate his legacy to the highest degree. Jordan is the Babe Ruth of basketball and this feat will cause many to rethink who was greater.
Kobe Bryant (Getty Images)
Kobe Bryant has been a very talented, entertaining and accomplished player during his career. He has had some off court issues and even some locker room drama. However when his career is over, his off court issues will pail in comparison to what he accomplished in the game. Kobe Bryant is a legendary player and we are lucky to be able to see the greatness he produces every night. This will be an exciting year coming up.
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