Thursday night, with a turnaround jumper from the right block area, Kobe Bryant became the youngest player ever to score 26,000 points in the NBA.
Bryant is 32 years, 80 days old, which means he got to the milestone a few weeks a head of Wilt Chamberlain. Now, if you want to go by games played, Kobe comes in eighth fastest, which still isn’t bad.
But what’s really impressive is the list of other 14 players who scored 26,000: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, Dr. J, Hakeem Olajuan and Oscar Robertson, among others. It’s a list of the NBA’s who’s who.
The shot that got Kobe his 26,000th point was perfectly appropriate — it was practiced and well thought out. He has spent the last few years working in the offseason to get a better post game. When Kobe got the ball 15 feet out and saw it was just Aaron Afflalo on him he got the isolation, backed his way down to a spot he wanted then hit a turnaround he has taken hundreds of alone in a gym, readying for just such a moment.
That play, that milestone are just reminders that in terms of career achievements, Kobe is running with the big dogs.