The Los Angeles Lakers have been Kobe Bryant’s team for a long time now, and he is still playing at a high level this season despite the injury issues and age that he has battled. He made his mark in NBA history and sealed his legacy by passing Michael Jordan on the All-Time scoring list tonight against the Minnesota Timberwolves, and has further proven that the comparisons to Jordan were legitimate.
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At 36 years of age, Bryant has battle through a lot to get to this point in his career. He tore his Achilles and missed a lot of time, and then ended up hurting his knee that knocked him out for another chunk of time. Despite those issues, he has played an extremely good season this year with the Lakers, and has remained a top scoring option and has kept up his numbers high overall.
There was quite a bit of criticism surrounding Bryant early on in the season, and ESPN columnist Henry Abbott believed that he was the one that was driving the Lakers’ franchise into the ground.
While there was some truth to Bryant being a bit of a ball hog and taking too many shots, the overall concept was blown out of proportion. The Lakers wouldn’t be nearly the franchise that they are without Bryant, and he is still the best player on their team. If he had been forcing up shots in contested coverage and wasn’t the franchise player, that would be a different story.
Bryant has hasn’t averaged less than 20 points per game in just four seasons of his 19-year NBA career. He has been one of the most decorated players that the NBA has seen, and despite all of that there have been those that have said his game isn’t as good as Jordan’s.
Now that he has passed him in scoring, Bryant has silenced a good portion of those fans. There will always be some that will never view anyone else as a better player than Jordan, but they can’t give sound reasoning for why Bryant shouldn’t be considered.
Granted, Jordan has won more titles than Bryant which is one area that can be given to Jordan without question. After that, there is not much else that can be said that makes Jordan better than Bryant. They can say that he made his teammates much better around him, but so did Bryant. Many will say that Bryant was mostly successful due to having Shaquille O’Neal on his team, but Jordan played with a long of talent around him as well.
All of that being said, this isn’t about whether or not Bryant is better than Jordan, but he is officially a better scorer in the record books. They had nearly identical offensive games, and the way that they adapted to the game and remained at the top despite injuries and aging is amazing. Jordan was an amazing leader in his time, and Bryant has been the same type of leader throughout his career with the Lakers.
This is a huge piece of NBA history with Bryant passing Jordan on the scoring list, and he deserves this. He has worked incredibly hard and overcame a lot of adversity to get to this point. Some may not recognize that he has proved his legacy and that the comparisons to Jordan were correct and legitimate, but making this history proves that fact.
Tonight was an incredibly special moment, and fans need to realize what they are watching is NBA history. Bryant has taken another step towards finalizing the legacy that he has worked his entire career to make.
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