Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James just passed Kobe Bryant to become the third-highest scorer in the NBA. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
The King has officially surpassed the Mamba. On Saturday, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James passed retired NBA legend Kobe Bryant on the league’s all-time scoring list, moving into third place. Ironically, it happened in Bryant’s hometown of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Entering Saturday’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers the 35-year-old had 33,643 points to his name. Now, the only two names that stand before him on the impressive list are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone.
Bryant, well aware of the milestone occurring at some point this season, showed nothing but love for James earlier this week when asked about the possibility of a fellow Laker surpassing him.
Bryant said to the Los Angeles Times
: “When LeBron came to Los Angeles, he is now a Laker, he is part of our brotherhood, part of our fraternity, and we should embrace him that way.
“You got to celebrate … appreciate what he is as an athlete while he is here. Appreciate this guy, celebrate what he’s done, because it’s truly remarkable.”
The eventual hall-of-famer certainly understands how remarkable it is to overtake your idol on such a list. In 2004, the 41-year-old passed Michael Jordan’s scoring record and Bryant told The Athletic
he actually received a text from the six-time champion congratulating him on his achievement.
“That was cool,” Bryant recalls. “Because it’s such a brotherhood, such an amount of respect between us as players, and you know the amount of work and consistency you have to put in over time so it’s nothing but love and respect.”
When asked whether he’ll do the same for James, the five-time Finals champion told the Times “for sure.”
“I’ll for sure call him and tell him congratulations. I’m so happy for ‘Bron, all he’s accomplished and continues to accomplish, he’s been great.”
Twitter Congratulates the King on a Historic Achievement
Witnesses of another incredible milestone set by the King, NBA Twitter, including Mamba himself, came together to show their support for one of the greatest modern athletes to play the game.
Showing no signs of slowing down, James could very well find himself in the top spot before he calls it a career. At the moment, the three-time NBA champion is just 4,741 points away from overtaking Abdul-Jabar.