Number 24 in the Purple and Gold is one of those star athletes that you either love or hate. He can sometimes come off as very arrogant, self-centered, and his “Thunder Bite” is really annoying.
But, the one thing that is undeniable about Kobe’s game regardless of whether or not you like him is his unbelievable scoring ability. Some day Kevin Durant will probably surpass Kobe on the all-time scoring list if he keeps playing at his current level, but seriously, name a better post-Jordan era scorer than Kobe Bryant. The only others even in the conversation would probably be Allen Iverson, Dirk, or Ray Allen. As great scorers as those guys were, they aren’t Kobe, and they most definitely don’t have the career resume that Kobe does. Monday night, in Kobe’s hometown of Philadelphia, he surpassed his former teammate and then arch-rival Shaquille O’Neal on the all-time scoring list, moving himself up to fifth place behind Jabbar, Malone, Jordan, and Chamberlain. Kobe Bryant is the best basketball player in the past ten years, no doubt about it, and his career proves it. He’s a five time NBA champion, two-time Finals MVP, fourteen time all-star, but somehow has only managed to win one league MVP, probably because he doesn’t pass everyone’s likability test. Watching Kobe score 81 points against the Toronto Raptors back in 2006 was remarkable, and we will never see anything like that ever again. He’s a scoring machine, the shots that he makes sometimes are just jaw dropping. I wouldn’t call myself a Kobe fan or hater, nor do I really care about the Lakers either, but I respect Kobe and the Lakers’ tradition of winning championships. So congratulations to Kobe Bryant, I’m sure he was thrilled to pass Shaq on the scoring list in his hometown, but the secondary story from the night was that the Lakers lost to the 76ers. The Lakers flat-out are not a title contender this year, but that is a conversation for another day, congratulations to Kobe Bryant, the best pure scorer I have ever seen.