Kobe Bryant Youngest to 30,000
Kobe Bryant is one of only five NBA players to score 30,000 points and the youngest to achieve the milestone.
ESPN (“Kobe Bryant youngest to 30,000“):
Kobe Bryant’s ultimate place among basketball’s greats may be up for debate. But there is no denying Bryant’s spot as one of the all-time best scorers after he became the youngest player in NBA history to reach 30,000 career points Wednesday.
Bryant made a slashing right-handed runner in the lane with 1:16 remaining in the second quarter against the New Orleans Hornets, giving him 30,001 career points at just 34 years, 104 days old.
Bryant surpassed Wilt Chamberlain’s previous record of 35 years, 179 days. The Los Angeles Lakers star scored 17 points in the first half against the Hornets.
Bryant joins Chamberlain (31,419 points), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387), Karl Malone (36,928) and Michael Jordan (32,292) as the only five players in NBA history to reach the 30,000-point plateau.
Of course, Bryant got a head start on his rivals: everyone else in the 30,000 club spent some time in college before going pro.
Bryant was the fifth-fastest player — in terms of games played — to reach the milestone, needing 1,179. Chamberlain was the fastest at 941 games, followed by Jordan (960), Abdul-Jabbar (1,101) and Malone (1,152). Bryant also was the youngest player to reach the 20,000-point mark.
So: He’s both the youngest man to 30,000 in terms of age and the slowest man to 30,000 in terms of games played. Indeed, all of the others except possibly Karl Malone are generally considered ahead of Bryant in the overall pantheon of basketball greats. He’s probably got another 2 or 3 highly productive seasons ahead of him, and maybe a few more mediocre ones after that. He’s quite likely to reach second place on the all-time scoring list and Jabbar’s mark isn’t out of the question.
Interestingly, despite being one of the great players of his era, being a top scorer, and having won five championships, he’s only won a single league MVP award. Jabbar won 6, Jordan and Bill Russell won 5, Chamberlain won 4, and many have won 3.