Kobe Bryant scored 17 points last night as the Lakers blew by the Detroit Pistons, earning a comfortable home win 108-83. With these 17, Bryant reached 26,671 points in his career, pushing Dominique Wilkins (26,668) out of the top 10. Next on Kobe’s sight are Oscar Robertson (26,710), Olajuwon (26,946), Elvin Hayes (27,313) and Moses Malone (27,409) who Kobe should pass until the season is over, putting him at sixth on the all time scoring list. Number 5? Shaq, with 28,500, a milestone Bryant should reach next season at the current pace. Bryant’s career average of 25.26 points per game is 11th best on the all time list. Two active players in the league have a better career average – LeBron James (27.6, 3rd all-time) and Dwyane Wade (25.38, 10th all-time).
Despite the individual and historic significance in Kobe’s achievement, he does care about one more things besides his personal legacy – Wins. The Lakers have been finding it hard to get them in the last few weeks and the win over the Pistons came after another home loss, this time to the Grizzlies, by 19 points. The Lakers have won three of their last four games but have won only twice on their last five home stands. Bryant said after the game that the key to this win and for the Lakers attempt at getting out of their funk is focus and defensive intensity. It’s easier against Detroit, and luckily for the Lakers and Kobe, their up and coming schedule isn’t the toughest in the league – Suns, Hornets, Knicks, Cavs, Warriors, Nets and Clippers. Nothing is easy in the NBA, but there are tougher stretches to be played. Good times ahead?