Early in the third quarter of L.A.’s Sunday loss at Denver, Kobe Bryant hit the first of two free throws, seemingly insignificant … unless you consider the fact that it put his career scoring total at 28,000 points.
In the entire history of the NBA, only five other players managed to reach that milestone, and none was younger than Bryant’s 33 years and 132 days.
The Hall of Fame scorers Bryant is now among in the 28,000 club include three dominant centers (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain and Shaquille O’Neal), one power forward (Karl Malone) and one guard (Michael Jordan). Not bad company, there, for No. 24, amongst four former Lakers and the player after whom he patterned so much of his game.
Chamberlain was the fastest to get to 28K, doing so in 825 games, followed by Jordan (886), Abdul-Jabbar (1,008), Malone (1,070) and Shaq (1,154).
As far as the all-time scoring chart goes, Bryant is currently on pace to surpass O’Neal somewhere close to the 30th game of the season, to break into the top five.