Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant surpassed his idol, Michael Jordan, in the NBA all-time scoring list Sunday against the Timberwolves. He is now third on the list with 32,310 points, behind only Karl Malone and Kareem Abdul-Jabar.
After 19 years in the league, Bryant needed eight points to reach Jordan’s mark going into Sunday’s game. He ended with 26 points and also added six rebounds and two assists in the 100-94 win over the Wolves.
"I'm just honored to be here, man, to still be playing," Bryant said. "I appreciate being able to play this long. Careers normally don't last this long. I really appreciate the opportunity to still be out there playing and performing and doing what I do."
Although Bryant has idolized Jordan since he was a youngster, he didn’t make too much of this record.
"It's really not a big deal to say I passed him for something like that," Bryant said. "It's a great accomplishment, but the true beauty is in the journey."
Indeed, it is a great accomplishment; so great that even the great Jordan had some words for Bryant.
"I congratulate Kobe on reaching this milestone," Jordan told the Associated Press in a statement. "He's obviously a great player, with a strong work ethic and has an equally strong passion for the game of basketball. I've enjoyed watching his game evolve over the years, and I look forward to seeing what he accomplishes next."
Bryant would need 4,618 and 6,077 points to reach Malone and Abdul-Jabbar’s records, respectively.