Examining Kobe Bryant’s Chances of Breaking Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s Points Record

No active player has scored more points than Kobe Bryant, and nor have any even come within 5,000 points of doing so.

When it comes to appreciating the finest NBA talent in recent history, there's really no fact or figure that speaks louder than that. But when it comes to recognizing the greatest scorers of all-time, Bryant has a ways to go—according to the numbers anyway.

He's currently 8,903 points behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who holds the record for most career points with 38,387 of them.

Does Bryant have another 9,000 points in him?

He'd almost certainly catch up to Abdul-Jabbar if he played for long enough—and that's a big "if." Kobe has at least entertained the possibility of retiring after the next two seasons, calling it quits while still irrefutably relevant.

In that event, no, Bryant won't snag the top spot. If he sticks around for a bit longer, however, it's a very real possibility.

If we assumed that Bryant averaged 25 points a game and 75 games a season, it would take him five seasons to get there. There's a perfectly reasonable chance that he'll opt to play another three seasons when his contract expires, making him 38 when he retires.

Of course, you might argue that it's unlikely Bryant will score at such a high rate once he turns 36 or 37, and no one could blame you. 

That's where things start to get a bit tricky. If Kobe can continue scoring close to 28 points a game over the course of the next two seasons, that means he could get away with scoring closer to 22 points a game in the final two campaigns of our hypothetical five-year stint (assuming he averages 25 in that third season).

In that event, much would hinge upon Bryant's productivity in the short-term.

It's fair to assume Dwight Howard, Steve Nash and a deeper bench will have the combined effect of taking some shots away from Bryant, but it's ...

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