Big basketball news for all of you stats junkies -- Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant scored 26 points in last night's game against the Atlanta Hawks, giving him a whopping total 27,423 points. This bumps him up to Number 6 on the NBA all-time scoring list, knocking poor Moses Malone to Numero 7.
This is big guns, folks. Kobe is en fuego right now. He didn't even start the season in the top 10, he was down a few at Number 12. This season alone, he's topped John Havlicek, Dominique Wilkins, Oscar Robertson, Hakeem Olajuwon, and Elvin Hayes. Last night, he struck again, adding Malone to the group.
If Kobe stays healthy, who knows how far he can climb up that prestigious list. The talking heads are saying he could get all of the way to Number 3 by the 2012-2013 season.
Who else will Kobe take down on his way up? Let's look at the top 10 as it stands today.
1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: With 38,387 total points over his 20-year career, he played for only two teams -- the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers. He also was super funny as co-pilot Roger Murdock in Airplane!
2. Karl Malone: "The Mailman" delivered 36,928 point in 19 years while playing for the Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Lakers. Maybe there's some kind of magic shooting juice in the water there in LA?
3. Michael Jordan: Perhaps the best player ever to play the game, Michael is only third -- though some say he could have topped this list if he hadn't retired that first time. Playing 15 years, he scored 32,292 points -- the majority of those as a Chicago Bull, though the few years he was a Washington Wizard adds to his total (though that stint didn't add much else).
4. Wilt Chamberlain: This big man (he wasn't called "Wilt the Stilt" for his circus tricks) snagged 31,419 points when he played for 14 years back in the '60s and '70s. Part of the Philadelphia Warriors, San Francisco Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers, and, you guessed it, the LA Lakers.
5. Shaquille O'Neal: The top active player, Shaq currently has 28,590 points in 19 seasons (and counting). Bopping around teams as of late, he started with the Orlando Magic then, yup, to the Lakers and then to the Miami Heat, Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers, and now Boston Celtics. His former teammate has him on the radar now.
6. Kobe Bryant: With last night's game, his point total stands at 27,423, but we know that will change. He's played for one team and one team only -- let's say it together -- the Los Angeles Lakers.
7. Moses Malone: With 27,409 points in 19 seasons, Moses Malone played on 8 teams in 3 different decades -- the '70s, '80s, and '90s -- spending most of his time as a Houston Rocket and Philadelphia 76er.
8. Elvin Hayes: Elvin who?? I've never heard of this guy, but he played for 16 years with the then San Diego Rockets as well as the Baltimore Bullets (which also changed names and cities). "The Big E" ended his career with 27,313 points.
9. Hakeem Olajuwon: "Hakeem the Dream" spent most of his 18 years down south as a Houston Rocket (he tried one year in Toronto before retiring). His total points? 26,946.
10. Oscar Robertson: The Big O (I guess back in the early years of basketball, they couldn't come up with better nicknames) played 14 years in the '70s and '80s, and captured 26,710 points as Cincinnati Royal and a Milwaukee Buck. Sadly, I bet he won't last much longer in the top 10.
Who's your all-time favorite NBA player?
Image via bridgetds/Flickr