On Sunday against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Kobe Bryant passed Michael Jordan for third on the NBA’s all-time scoring list after making two free throws. With this likely being the final two seasons of his future Hall of Fame career, Kobe is now 4,619 points away from passing Karl Malone for second place.
Before the Los Angeles Lakers take on the Indiana Pacers on Monday, Kobe wrote about his journey to 32,310 points for The Players’ Tribune. In his very first post, Kobe shares he considered giving up on basketball when he was young, but was inspired by Michael Jordan’s journey:
I considered maybe just giving up basketball and just focusing on soccer. Here’s where my respect and admiration for MJ was forged. I learned that he had been cut from his high school team as a freshman; I learned he knew what it felt like to be embarrassed, to feel like a failure. But he used those emotions to fuel him, make him stronger, he didn’t quit. So I decided to take on my challenge the same way he did. I would channel my failure as fuel to keep my competitive fire burning. I became obsessed with proving to my family — and more importantly to myself — that I CAN DO THIS.
Since entering the league in 1996, Kobe has drawn comparisons to Jordan. While Jordan is considered to be the greatest player of all-time to many, Kobe has had an impressive career himself and hopes to tie his idol in championships by the end of his career.
While the Lakers have won three consecutive games, it will be an uphill battle to get a playoff spot in the highly-competitive Western Conference. However, the team will have approximately $30 million in cap space to pursue free agents and may possibly have a top-five pick in this year’s draft.
Kobe Bryant Passes Michael Jordan On NBA All-Time Scoring List