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Added December 16th, 2014 by Ian
NBA

Kobe Bryant leapfrogs Michael Jordan on NBA’s all-time scoring list

Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers passed former legend Michael Jordan for third place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list on December 14. Bryant achieved the feat with a couple of second-quarter free throws in the Lakers game in Minnesota against the Timberwolves. The 36-year-old Bryant entered the game eight points behind Jordan, who racked up a total of 32,292 points in his 15 seasons. Bryant passed him when he sank two free throws after he was fouled by Minnesota’s Zach LaVine with 5:24 to go in the half.

The Timberwolves fans gave Bryant an ovation after he scored the points while traveling Lakers fans went wild. Bryant said that he appreciated the applause from the Minnesota fans as it was a little bit different since he’s usually treated like a villain by the home fans when the Lakers are on the road. The Lakers won the game 100-94 for their third straight victory and Bryant finished the contest with 26 points. He scored a three-pointer win about a minute left to break a 94-94 deadlock and then with 20 seconds left scored on another free throw.

Bryant has now scored 32,310 points during his 19-year NBA career. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the league’s all-time top scorer with 38,387 points while Karl Malone sits in second place on the list with 36,928 points. Bryant started the game slowly by going just one for five from the field. The game was halted for a minute when Bryant passed Jordan and Glen Taylor, the owner of the Timberwolves handed him the game ball.

Jordan, who now owns the Charlotte Hornets, released a press statement following the game to congratulate Bryant’s achievement. He said Bryant is a great player who possesses a strong work ethic and has an undying passion for the sport. He added that he has enjoyed watching Bryant throughout his career and is anxious to see what the Lakers legend will be able to accomplish next. Bryant told the press that he appreciates Jordan’s words and he learned a lot from him. Many other current and former NBA stars also congratulated Bryant on various social network outlets, including LeBron James and Magic Johnson.

Timberwolves head coach Flip Saunders said there was no doubt that Bryant would pass Jordan’s scoring feats sooner or later. He added that Bryant has persisted through injuries and his achievement is one he should be proud of. Bryant hasn’t been happy with his team’s 8-16 performance this season though and criticized the squad a couple of days earlier. He’s currently third place in league scoring for the 2014/15 season with an average of 25.4 points per game. James Harden leads the way with 26.3 per game while LeBron James is second at 25.5.

 
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