While its still up to debate whether Kobe Bryant is better than Michael Jordan, his place in basketball's history is undeniable, especially after becoming the youngest player in NBA history to reach 30,000 career points Wednesday (December 5).
The Los Angeles Lakers superstar hit a right-handed runner in the lane with 1:16 remaining in the second quarter against the New Orleans Hornets Wednesday, giving him 30,001 career points, making him the youngest to hit the milestore at just 34 years, 104 days old.
Bryant surpassed Wilt Chamberlain's previous record of 35 years, 179 days; and joins Chamberlain (31,419 points), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387), Karl Malone (36,928) and Michael Jordan (32,292) as the only five players in NBA history to reach the 30K-point plateau.
"It's just a tremendous honor," Bryant told reporters after the game, where he finished with 29 points in the Lakers' 103-87 win. "I don't really know how else to put it. I've just been very, very fortunate."
NBA commissioner David Stern witnessed Bryant's achievement, and named him "one of the greatest" alongside Jordan.
"I want to shake his hand. I think Kobe is, as a talent and a competitor, he's up there on the pedestal with Michael Jordan as one of the greatest," Stern told reporters. "Kobe has such an extraordinary run playing at the highest level for so long with the championships to prove it in a league that is extremely competitive."
Another interesting note is that four of the five names on the 30,000-point list played for the Lakers at one point in their careers. All 17 years of Kobe's career has been for the purple and gold.