LeBron James is 17 points shy of Kobe Bryant for the number three spot on the all-time NBA scoring list, and he’s set to pass Bryant, arguably the greatest Laker in franchise history, on Saturday against the Philadelphia 76ers.
It’s another accolade to add to the laundry list of accomplishments for the three-time champion. While James is just letting his game come organically and not looking at individual achievements, when asked by Turner Sports’ Kristen Ledlow about how it feels to pass the Laker Legend, his word of choice was “surreal”.
"Kobe for sure I looked up to … Now to be in the same uniform that he wore for 20 years, it’s such a surreal feeling."
—LeBron on the opportunity to pass Kobe on the all-time scoring list pic.twitter.com/DvGtWNmrYY
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 24, 2020
You would think as a competitor it would sting just a little when someone surpasses one of your great accomplishments. However, for one of the most competitive players the game has ever seen, Kobe says he’s happy for LeBron and feels that should be the standard for anyone (via Mark Medina of USA Today).
“You should be happy for the person that comes after you to be able to surpass things that you’ve done. It’s kind of juvenile to think or to behave any other way.”
As a huge Bryant fan, this moment is bittersweet. It has been quite the rollercoaster when it comes to the career of James and his fans. The longstanding debate/rivalry has put a wall up in between Bryant fans and James himself. So much so that I haven’t been able to truly appreciate what he has done in his career.
To be able to remain healthy and keep his body in tip-top shape and play at this level for so long has to be highlighted. Not to mention winning championships with two different franchises with the possibility of capturing another ring with a third.
The guy is a beast. There’s no way around it and when he wants to put his head down and get a bucket, he can!
What’s crazy is that James doesn’t even label himself a scorer. He’s marking two of the best scorers to ever put a ball in a hoop off of his list and who knows how far he will climb after that. If you listen to him describe his game, score-first is not an adjective he would add to his bio.
LeBron James on if he incorporated any parts of Kobe Bryant’s game to his: pic.twitter.com/QZ7PGuh8Md
— TheLakersReview (@TheLakersReview) January 23, 2020
James is one of the best to ever do it. While the feeling is bittersweet, I must say it’s fun watching him cement his legacy and put the Lakers back amongst the best teams in the NBA.
The toughest part about seeing James past Bryant on that list is knowing that it will give his fans one more leg to stand on in the “LeBron vs Kobe” debate. With that being said, I will be glued to the television for the rest of his career because I’m curious to see just how far he will go.