Kobe Bryant: ‘It’s awesome’ that LeBron James will pass him on scoring list
LeBron James is poised to leapfrog Kobe Bryant on the NBA all-time scoring list, something the Black Mamba finds “awesome.”
Heading into the Los Angeles Lakers’ showdown Wednesday night with the New York Knicks, James is only 65 points behind Bryant, who is the league’s No. 3 all-time leading scorer with 33,643 points. Given the immediacy in which James will pass Bryant, the retired Lakers legend recently provided his perspective to the situation.
Recalling how special it was for him to receive such “love and respect” from Michael Jordan when he eclipsed His Airness on the all-time list, Bryant recently stated there’s only one way to handle such a situation: With class.
When Kobe passed MJ on the scoring list, the Wolves halted the game. “I think you have a little bit of an obligation to the league…to be able to celebrate that with the fans,” their COO told @JonKrawczynski.— Bill Oram (@billoram) January 20, 2020
What will happen this week? https://t.co/2KcQU9JkLa
“It’s great,” Bryant told Bill Oram of The Athletic. “I think it’s great for him. I mean, the amount of work he’s put in over his career, consistency, I think it’s awesome.”
Bryant relayed how Jordan’s congratulatory text on the night he moved into the No. 3 slot on the NBA’s all-time scoring list remains his fondest memory from that night. He intends to do exactly the same thing for James.
“That was cool,” Bryant said. “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.”
Bryant has long been a fan of James, and his admiration for his fellow superstar has only grown stronger since the latter joined the Lakers.
However, it stands to reason that Bryant — as well as any other player in his position — has to be left somewhat disappointed when their career achievements are surpassed by another individual.
As Bryant himself notes, that doesn’t mean there isn’t an obligation to conduct oneself with dignity and exhibit class when such a moment occurs, though.