On Wednesday night in New Orleans Kobe Bryant became just the fifth player in NBA history to reach the 30,000-point plateau. Bryant has cemented his legacy as one of the greatest scorers in the history of the NBA, but what exactly does Bryant mean to his fans and the fans of the Lakers?
We asked some of our writers to put together some of their thoughts on Bryant’s accomplishment, and to share what Bryant’s contributions have meant to them personally.
Jabari Davis (@LA_SportsTalk) Having been privileged enough to watch Kobe Bryant’s career in its entirety, I’m eternally grateful all 30,016 (and counting) have been in Purple and Gold. The definition of consistency, and a model of maintained dominance, Bryant is entering that ‘rarefied air’ of the basketball equivalence of Mt. Rushmore. Bryant, love him or hate him, is a legend.
From the thin-framed teenager daring and bold enough to throw up multiple air-ball three pointers in a playoff game where other veterans admitted to shying away from the pressure to the battle-tested, 5-time NBA champion before you today, Bryant has successfully carved out a prominent place in basketball history.
Elizabeth Benson (@Gobibs) I have been a Laker fan for as long as I can remember. Besides being exceptionally fortunate to be a part of a fanbase who has seen much success at the highest level quite consistently, I have been able to witness a player out of Lower Merion High School create not only one of the most accomplished careers that the NBA has ever seen, but has, in my mind, become the best Laker in franchise history.
On December 5, 2012 in New Orleans, Kobe Bryant became the fifth player in NBA history to score 30,000 points, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain. To me, Kobe’s latest milestone represents the dedication, will and the best work ethic in the game that pours out of Kobe and how these traits can take God given talents and catapult them into the creation of a legend.
I have been one of the lucky ones who has witnessed the impact of Kobe Bryant, from the beginning when Chick Hearn would accidently call him Eddie Jones to the night he scored 81 points to the five times he has lifted the Larry O’Brien trophy in June to wherever he goes next. This ride during the Kobe era has been nothing but an honor and a privilege as a lifelong Laker fan. Once again, thank you Mamba for the great memories and I can’t wait to see what you have left up your sleeve!
Phillip Barnett (@imsohideous) When thinking about Kobe’s career, it’s almost apropos that he recorded his 30,000th career point on a night that ostensibly captured the Black Mamba archetype in less than 48 minutes. He threw down some thunderous dunks; he hit an unhuman baseline fade away, he hit the turn around jumper from the post; he willed his way to the basket with two defenders draped all over him; and he hit a three-pointer on the wing with a defender closing out hard and fast.
Kobe’s 30K is special in the sense that there literally isn’t a way that he hasn’t scored the ball. Both LeBron James and Kevin Durant will record 30,000 at a younger age than Bean, and I’m okay with this. But there hasn’t, and won’t ever be a more detail-oriented scorer than Kobe — and that’s what I’ve appreciated most over the years. Watching him mature from using his pure athleticism to developing the technical nuances that allow for him to have some of the best footwork and creativity to always keep defenders guessing. There hasn’t been another ball player who has piqued my interest scoring the ball than Kobe, and no one ever will.