“Sit at the Table with Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson”: When Kobe Bryant Refused to Chase Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s Scoring Record
2024/04/01

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Kobe Bryant, the legendary Los Angeles Lakers player, was once on track to surpass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the NBA's all-time leading scorer. 

However, injuries hindered his progress, and he revealed in a 2015 interview with GQ that his goal was not to break Abdul-Jabbar's record. Bryant explained that he could have left the Lakers early in his career to focus on individual accomplishments, such as averaging 35 points per game, but he chose to prioritize winning championships with his teammate Shaquille O'Neal.

 His ultimate goal was to sit at the table with basketball greats like Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson, with the same number of titles.

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While becoming the all-time leading scorer would have been an incredible achievement, Bryant was more concerned with adding championships and Finals MVP honors to his resume. 

After a career cut short by injury, Bryant finished his NBA journey as the third-highest scorer of all time. LeBron James has since surpassed Bryant's mark and become the leading points scorer in NBA history. Despite his scoring prowess, Bryant's focus was always on leaving a lasting legacy as one of the best players in history.

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