As we dry our tears and get ready for Kobe Bryant to walk out on the court for the very last time, it only feels right to reflect on some of his most jaw-dropping numbers. The word “subtle” doesn’t seem to be in Bryant’s vocabulary, and he’s one of the most arrogant, brash, and bold athletes we’ve ever seen. His numbers reflect that and that’s why he’s adored.
This number is the one thing that has haunted Kobe for the last few years. For a whole generation, his number of titles has set the benchmark for greatness. Being just one title away from tying Michael Jordan has eaten at Kobe since he won his last title. Luckily, fans acknowledge his impact on the game and (most) won’t let one title remove him from the conversation of greatest of all time.
Just two times in his career Kobe Bryant was not named an all-star: his rookie year in ’96-97, and ’98-99 when the lockout resulted in no all-star game. Despite not playing in three of them, the 15 he has appeared in are second all time; tied with Tim Duncan and trailing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (18). It shows how respected he is by the fans in the league despite some things that have transpired in the past. Before the years he was hurt, his continued level of excellence his something to be revered by everyone.
While his 20 seasons played isn’t a record, those 20 seasons being spent with one franchise is. Coming into the NBA as an 18-year-old kid in 1996, Bryant has never spent time outside of his purple and gold. Despite trade rumors a few years back, it’s amazing that Kobe’s willingness to play in Los Angeles took two decades to diminish.
January 22, 2006, is one of the days that catapulted Kobe’s legacy and validated him as an all-time great scorer. Bryant’s career-high before this game was 62 but this, this game put him in a category that only one other player had entered. When he dismantled the Raptors 81 points, he eclipsed the best scoring outputs of Michael Jordan, David Robinson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and every other player in NBA history besides Wilt Chamberlain.
Despite being subject to change, the amount of field goals that Kobe Bryant has launched in his career is nothing short of extraordinary. This stat gives a glimpse of exactly who Kobe was: a shooter who had so much confidence, he turned into one of the game’s most selfish players. A six-time league leader in this category, only Karl Malone and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar have shot more shots than Bryant.
When you’re great at something you’ll be paid like it. According to Spotrac, that number is Kobe Bryant’s career earnings from just his contracts. Shockingly, he isn’t first among active players. Kevin Garnett edges him out at $326,362,956. Being the highest paid player in the league this year at $25M, Kobe’s been paid big bucks to make big plays throughout his career.