Kobe Bryant may be in the twilight of his career, but he’s still living young in one aspect despite being 34 years old. Bryant became the fastest player in NBA history to reach 30,000 career points. The Lakers were in New Orleans on Wednesday night, and it was against the team that Bryant was drafted by that he accomplished one of the finest feats an NBA can.
“It’s a huge honor to say the least,” Bryant said earlier this week as he approached the milestone. “Whenever you’re hearing those kind of names and you think about the amount of players that have played this game and to be in that kind of company, it’s always extremely, extremely special.”
The 34 year old Bryant bested WIlt Chamberlain who accomplished the feat of 30,000 points at the age of 35. David Stern was on hand in New Orleans to witness the historic event.
“I want to shake his hand. I think Kobe is, as a talent and a competitor, he’s up there on the pedestal with Michael Jordan as one of the greatest,” Stern told reporters before the game. “Kobe has such an extraordinary run playing at the highest level for so long with the championships to prove it in a league that is extremely competitive.”
Bryant may be the youngest player ever to 30,000 points but he’s not the fastest. Chamberlain regains his crown in that aspect as it took Wilt just 941 games to reach the mark. It took Bryant a total of 1,179 games to top Chamberlain and is still far behind Micheal Jordan and Kareem Abdul-Jabar.
Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni offered up some jokingly blunt praise for his superstar after the game.
“That just means he’s old. He’s played a lot,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni joked before the game. “I think it’s great. Not many people can get that achievement. That’s something he’s earned and deservedly so. That’s great.”
Bryant may not be the same superstar he was, but he’s clearly not done proving he’s one of the best players the game has ever seen.