Thursday night against the Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant became the youngest player in NBA history to reach the 26,000 point mark. The clinching basket was a jump shot early in the third quarter in Denver and, in typical Bryant fashion, he just jogged back on defense and went back to work.
There was no fanfare, no mention of the achievement by anyone in the arena and no acknowledgment by Bryant himself. And we’re pretty sure that’s exactly how he wanted it.
While eventually LeBron James (and possibly Kevin Durant as well) will certainly surpass all of Bryant’s “youngest to” marks, Kobe’s numbers are incredibly impressive when you consider that he didn’t play major minutes (more than 30 per game) until his third season in the league.
Bryant became just the 12th player in the history of the league to read the 26,000 point mark.
He set the record at the age of 32 years and 80 days old. Wilt Chamberlain (the previous record holder) got his 26,000th point at 32 years and 114 days, while Kareem Abdul-Jabbar did it at the game of 33 years and 331 days.
If Bryant averages 24 points per game this year, he will finish the seaosn with 27,790 points. That would put him in sixth place on the all-time scoring list. He would leap John Havlicek (26,395), Dominique Wilkins (26,668), Oscar Robertson (26,710), Hakeem Olajuwon (26,946), Elvin Hayes (27,313) and Moses Malone (27,409). That’s quite a list of players to pass in one year but Bryant certainly has the ability to do it this season.
The Lakers lost their first game of the season Thursday night, falling to the Nuggets 118-112.