There's a lot of territory to cover after that.
Bryant's 32,284 career points are nine shy of topping Jordan, an accomplishment that needs no explanation.
But then would come
Abdul-Jabbar's record seemed as indelible as ever,
"I think that's going to stand for a while. I don't think in our lifetime we're going to see it being broken," said Scott, who played six seasons with Abdul-Jabbar on the Lakers. "It's going to be hard. They're going to have to play 20-something years, I think, to get that one."
Any tips for Bryant, more than one-fourth through his 19th season?
"I'm sure [Abdul-Jabbar] would probably tell you yoga and his martial arts, all that stuff kind of kept him flexible," Scott said. "And his meditating and things like that.
"But he was just a freak of an athlete as well. At 7-2, the way he could run, especially when he was young, and how wiry he was. He was an unbelievable athlete. I think a lot of people tend to forget that about 'Cap.'"
Another key was health. Abdul-Jabbar played less than 74 games in only two seasons, and even then he played 65 and 62 games. He averaged 24.6 points in 1,560 games over 20
They'll be back?
The Lakers will not always struggle, says San Antonio Coach
"There's always a cycle. I'm sure at some point we'll probably feel it just like everybody else," Popovich said. "The [
"You don't stay at the top forever in any business. Everything changes. They'll get it right again at some point."
The Spurs and Lakers have each won five NBA titles since 1999, though San Antonio's path has been less extreme than the Lakers.
Bryant even said he was "extremely jealous" of the Spurs when asked about their formula last month. He admired how they kept
"Like, I can't even … I can't express to you how jealous I am of that. Not all this up-and-down stuff," he said wistfully.
One man's envy is another's man's success.