In a regular season battle of Western conference non-contenders, Kobe Bryant passed Michael Jordan on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Points 32,282 and 32,283 coming from the free-throw line should give NBA fans a few monumental photographs to help remember this significant moment in basketball history for generations to come, given the iconic stature of both Kobe and Michael.
Although Kobe is now the most prolific guard in NBA history, I don’t believe he is by any means the best of all-time. From a statistical standpoint, it took Bryant nearly 200 additional games to pass Jordan. The longevity of both legends’ careers is admirable, but there is no question that there will never be a player quite like Mike. The fact that Jordan was able to step away from basketball after three-peating as a champion, then subsequently return to superstardom with little rust, and win three more consecutive titles speaks for itself.
Additionally, Kobe’s field goal percentage sits approximately five points down from Michael’s [Bryant currently has a 45.2 FG% in comparison to Jordan’s 49.7%]. Obviously both of these transcendent talents rank favourable amongst the best players basketball has ever seen, yet the sheer statistical superiority Jordan has over Bryant puts the debate of who the best guard is to rest.
Who knows though, future generations could breed a player that surpasses both of these legends. Doubtful, but you never know. Congrats to Kobe on this monumental achievement.