LeBron James Passed Kobe Bryant To Become Third In Scoring In NBA History

LeBron James and Kobe Bryant have been linked ever since the former came into the NBA. The “Kobe or LeBron?” debate existed for years while James was on the come up and Bryant was among the best players on earth, while the bond connecting the two became even stronger when James opted to join Bryant’s team, the Los Angeles Lakers, in free agency in 2017.

The latest chapter in the story of these two was written on Saturday night in Philadelphia. During the third quarter of action, James sliced through the Sixers defense to get to the rim and score a layup. The otherwise innocuous bucket meant that James scored point number 33,644 of his career, moving him in front of Bryant for third on the league’s all-time scoring list.

“It’s another guy that I looked up to when I was in grade school and high school,” James said of Bryant earlier this week, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN. “Seeing him come straight out of high school, he is someone that I used as inspiration. It was like, wow. Seeing a kid, 17-years old come into the NBA and trying to make an impact on a franchise, I used it as motivation. He helped me before he even knew of me because of what he was able to do. So, just to be able to, at this point of my career, to share the same jersey that he wore, be with this historical franchise and just represent the purple and gold, it’s very humbling and it’s dope.

“Kobe’s a legend, that’s for damn sure.”

Bryant celebrated the moment on Twitter, as he took a moment to praise “my brother” for his accomplishment.

Next up for James on the all-time scoring list is Karl Malone, who scored 36,928 points in his career. No. 1 on the list is another Laker, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who scored 38,387. It’d take a whole lot more scoring for him to get there, but with how James takes care of himself and plans on playing for a long, long time, perhaps it’s not such a crazy thought.