What Kobe Bryant Could Accomplish If He Plays Until He’s 40

Kobe Bryant has been refreshingly candid recently while talking about his retirement. Although the Los Angeles Lakers superstar may opt to retire sooner rather than later, it’s truly remarkable to gauge what Bryant could accomplish if he decided to play until his 40th birthday.

In an interview last summer with Graham Bensinger of The Huffington Post, Bryant discussed the possibility of retiring when his contract expires in 2014:

I’ve been playing for 17 years now, so next year (this season) will be my 17th and then, when I’m 35, it will be my 18th year in the league. I mean that’s a long time to be playing. It will be the last year in my contract, so I don’t know. I don’t know if I’ll play any longer than that.

Considering that Bryant is having one of the best seasons of his entire career at 34 years old, it’s surreal to imagine him retiring at age 35. Bryant certainly has a ton of miles on the odometer, though, as he approaches 54,000 career minutes (regular season plus playoffs). However, he conditions himself as well as any other player in the league.

So what kinds of records and accomplishments could the Black Mamba achieve if he keeps playing for another half-decade? Well, as with any scorer, points scored are a good starting point.

Bryant is currently fourth on the list of all-time-leading scorers, trailing just Michael Jordan, Karl Malone and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

He only needs 787 more points to pass MJ for third on the all-time list. Factoring in that there are still five games remaining on the Lakers' 2012-13 schedule, Bryant can cut into that deficit even further before next season.

As an NBA starter, the lowest point total that Bryant has recorded in a single season was 996 in 50 games during the 1998-99 campaign. He’s only scored fewer than 1,485 points three times in his career, which happened in each of hi...

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