Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers overtook the legendary Michael Jordan this weekend by scoring more overall points in an NBA career.
According to Tyler Conway of Bleacher Report, the Lakers star passed the iconic basketball player in the second quarter of Sunday's game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, scoring a career-high 32,293 points. Former Lakers player Magic Johnson congratulated Bryant on Twitter.
"Laker fans we've been so blessed to watch Kobe Bryant, one of the top 5 or 6 best players ever, play in a Lakers uniform!" Johnson wrote. "Just like we've never seen another player like Michael Jordan, we will never see another player like Kobe Bryant!"
Bryant has a long way to go if he wants to be the greatest NBA scorer of all time. Conway noted that he is behind both Karl Malone (36,928) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387), though whether or not Kobe will overtake them will be dependent on his health and ability to play beyond his two-year contract that expires in 2016.
Shortly after passing Jordan, Bryant wrote an essay in regards to that accomplishment. The essay, which is available in its entirety on The Players' Tribune, focused on the journey Bryant took to get to that historic point; there was a time in his life where his basketball skills were lackluster, but that changed after observing Jordan's methods.
"Here's where my respect and admiration for MJ was forged," Bryant wrote. "I learned that he had been cut from his high school team as a freshman; I learned he knew what it felt like to be embarrassed, to feel like a failure. But he used those emotions to fuel him, make him stronger, he didn't quit."
Bryant then added that he would follow the example of Jordan by channeling "my failure as fuel to keep my competitive fire burning." He admitted that became an "obsession" to prove his worth to his family and himself.
"I learned everything about the game, the history, the players, the fundamentals. I wasn't just determined to never have a summer of zero again," Brant wrote. "I was driven to inflict the same sense of failure on my competition as they unknowingly inflicted on me. My killer instinct to score was born."
Bryant further reflected on his accomplishment overtaking Jordan 24 years later, fully aware that time is ticking away at his basketball career.
"What a journey this has been. Setting this mark is a huge honor," Bryant wrote. "I'm aware of Father Time's curfew. He has sent me to my room to brush my teeth before he tucks me in, but I wouldn't be me if I didn't walk to the bathroom slowly."
Bryant concluded his essay by thanking and appreciating everyone for their love and support, "even if the villain in me refuses to acknowledge it all the time."
Bryant has been known at times for his villainy, especially during the time in a recent practice session where Jeremy Lin received the brunt of his tirade. However, Sam Amick of USA Today Sports thought that Bryant's harsh message for the Lakers, which has occasionally been laced with profanities, was spot on.
"His harsh message - as opposed to so much of what his team does these days - wasn't off target," Amick wrote. "The Lakers, as their last-place ranking in defensive rating would seem to support, are playing a tissue-soft style that opponents are exploiting almost every time out."
Amick added that Bryant might have realized that it was one thing to remain patient and another to endure disaster on the basketball court on a daily basis.
"Say what you will about Bryant's personality and the never-ending debate about whether his abrasive style kills his own cause, but the reality remains that the Lakers have reached this unwelcome point because of reasons that are unrelated to that sinister subplot," Amick wrote.
Despite their differences in gameplay, Lin also congratulated Bryant on his historic accomplishment on Twitter.
"Congratulations Kobe Bryant on third all time!!" Lin tweeted. "And a great team win for 3 in a row!"