Watching Kobe climb up the ladder of all-time scorers has been a great sight the past couple of years. When you look at the list of all time scorers and see the players that he’s passed, names like Bird, Baylor, Robertson, and West you realize how special a ride it’s been. And then when you look above him and see how close he is to surpassing names like Hakeem, Shaq, Wilt, and Jordan it’s mind-blowing. When he came to the Lakers in the 1996 draft, I’m not sure anyone envisioned this storied a career in both team and individual success. And the man is still going.
But go back and look at the top of that scoring list. The name you see is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. It’d take an epic (and extended) finishing kick for Kobe to get to that level. As it stands now, Kobe is nearly 12,000 points from Kareem’s mark of 38,387 points. That’s six 2,000 point seasons worth of scoring (or a 24.4 point average over a full 82 game season). Of course it’s possible that Kobe do it (I put nothing past him), but I’m not sure it’s likely.
And when really reflecting on that, I just wanted to again give the man at the top of the list that Kobe continues to climb his due. Kareem is often left out of the conversation of greatest players ever and that’s a shame. The other day, when discussing the rebounding inadequacies of Brook Lopez, Nets GM Billy King (in an attempt to give his young Center some cover) said that “Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, as great a scorer as he was, he wasn’t a great rebounder.” Really? He’s only 3rd all time in total rebounds and his career average of 11.2 ranks in the top 25. As our memory starts to fade, it’s easy to forget such things. But I still remember. And you should too. So here’s a short video of one of the all-time best: