On Verge of New Scoring Mark, Kobe Bryant Says Journey, Not Record, Matters

SAN ANTONIO — Whether it is passing Michael Jordan for third place on the NBA's all-time scoring list or already assuming the lead in shots missed in league history, Kobe Bryant stresses that for him his career has been about exploring the soul of the game.

"I've never been a record-driven person," Bryant told Bleacher Report. "I've always been a person who really enjoys building the game that gets me to the record. I really enjoy that part of it more so than the actual accomplishment.

"The actual accomplishment is something that comes and goes, but the process of getting there is the part that I enjoy the most. So I'm not looking at it and saying, 'I've got to get this' or 'I've got to get that.' I really don't trip over it. I just enjoy playing; I love playing. And I play, and I learn. That's what I enjoy doing. What comes after that comes after that."

The edgy, cold-hearted manner with which he goes about his craft, Bryant knows, has obscured the tenets of effort, ethic and improvement he has preached.

The resultant misunderstanding is something Bryant reluctantly accepts.

"People don't listen," he said. "They don't listen. They don't listen. No offense, but media people don't stop and listen. They come up with an agenda of what they want to write, and whatever answer you give, they make it into the piece that they want to write.

"They don't really sit and listen. You know what I mean? I've said these things before, but they write what they want to write for content's sake or click-through sake or whatever the case may be.

"That's fine. I don't let it bother me at all. I'm very comfortable with where I am and who I am and how I go about what I do or what I enjoy doing the most—which is learning and playing this game."

Exhibit 1,487A (1,267 regular-season games plus 220 playoff games equals 1,487) was Tuesday night. After the Lakers' victor...

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