From the moment he stepped into the league, Kobe Bryant has lived in the shadow of Michael Jordan. As an 18-year-old, Kobe was billed as the second coming of MJ, and for 19 years he’s done everything in his power to live up to his childhood idol – now he’s moved one step closer to surpassing him. With a free throw in Sunday’s win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, Kobe Bryant jumped past Michael Jordan to become third on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. For Kobe, the title is as much a personal honor as it is an homage to MJ. “He knows how much I learned from him. From other legends, but him in particular,” Bryant said of Jordan. The historic milestone further cements Kobe’s place amongst the upper echelon of NBA elite, and provides a fitting cap to a Hall of Fame career that includes five championships, 15 All-NBA Team selections, and two Finals MVP awards. While the perennially dominant Lakers have faltered this year, Kobe himself has refused to slow down – in addition to moving up the all-time scoring list, Kobe also became the first player in NBA history to record 30,000 points and 6,000 assists. The debate over the greatest player of all time may never be settled, but Kobe – with the kind of accolades that can only be rivaled by MJ himself - continues to add more fuel to the fire.
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