Blueprint for Kobe Bryant to Become the NBA’s All-Time Leading Scorer

When Kobe Bryant drilled a foul-line jumper in the second quarter of the Los Angeles Lakers' 103-98 win over the Sacramento Kings on March 30, he snatched sole possession of the No. 4 spot on the NBA's all-time scoring list from legendary center Wilt Chamberlain.

The question is: How much higher can No. 24 realistically climb before he hangs up his Nikes?

Well, a review shows that Bryant—who finished the Kings game with a career total of 31,434 points—now trails only Michael Jordan (32,292), Karl Malone (36,928) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387).

Some quick math reveals that catching Jordan will be a breeze.

Assuming Bryant maintains something in the area of his career scoring average of 25.5 points per game, he'll need about 33 more games to overtake Jordan. Bryant has been scoring at a slightly higher clip than his career mark over the past couple of seasons, but by this conservative forecast, he'll be in the No. 3 spot sometime in December of the 2013-14 season.

Of course, that's assuming he doesn't suddenly morph into John Stockton.

But how much longer will the Black Mamba be balling? As of this moment, he seems intent on walking away after his current contract runs out following the 2013-14 season. He told (via ESPN Los Angeles) that was still his plan after passing Chamberlain on the all-time scoring list.

Bryant was more definitive in an interview with after the game, saying he would "in all likelihood" make a decision this summer on when he would retire and that next season would probably be his last.

"As I sit here right now, yeah," Bryant said.

But even the Mamba seems uncertain about how much longer he'll be playing the game. 

In order to catch Stockton's former running mate, Bryant is going to have to make up some serious ground. The Mailman's advantage on Bryant currently sit...

About the Author