Meanwhile, Kobe Bryant is about to pass Michael Jordan on scoring list
There was that other news item featured at Thursday’s practice: Kobe Bryant is 31 points from passing Michael Jordan for third on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.
It could happen Friday in San Antonio or, more likely, Sunday in Minnesota. Bryant is averaging 25.5 points a game.
Either way, after Bryant trash-talked Nick Young and called teammates “soft like Charmin” at Thursday’s practice, he was ready to discuss Jordan with reporters.
It was easy for him to pinpoint his main similarity with Jordan.
“I think we’re both cursed with the obsession of trying to do the best that we can. It’s a blessing and a curse at the same time,” he said. “I think we’re both very similar in that regard.”
Bryant said the biggest difference in their game was his necessity to be a shooting guard and point guard at times throughout his Lakers career.
“It’s much more frustrating for a natural scorer to try to wear both hats,” Bryant said. “I’ve had to play more of a point-guard role, particularly in those first three championships with Shaq, which is not a natural thing for me.”
As he had done in the weeks leading up to this point, Bryant downplayed his desire to pass Jordan.
“It wasn’t something that I thought about growing up as a kid. It was championships,” he said. “That’s why the excitement of winning championships is so much higher, because that’s a goal that’s set. The numbers and stuff is not something that I’ve ever set out to accomplish.”
Bryant’s five championships are one behind Jordan, a number he won’t be catching this season with the Lakers sputtering at 6-16.
Bryant did, however, enjoy the concept of two Lakers holding down the top three scoring spots of all-time.
“Now that’s awesome,” he said, adding an insight into his 19-year career. “That’s probably the coolest thing for me is, how many players get a chance to say that they spend their entire career playing for the team that was their favorite team growing up? That’s crazy.”
Bryant has 32,262 career points. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar heads the list with 38,387 points, followed by Karl Malone with 36,928.
All things Lakers, all the time.
Get all the Lakers news you need in Dan Woike's weekly newsletter.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.