PHILADELPHIA — When Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Boston Celtics in the 2010 NBA Finals to secure Bryant’s fifth championship, he famously framed the accomplishment by saying, “I got one more than Shaq,” referring to Shaquille O’Neals four rings.

Bryant was able to one-up O’Neal again Monday as he passed his former teammate for fifth place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list in the second quarter of the Lakers’ game against thePhiladelphia 76ers.

Bryant hit a long jump shot from the top of the key with 5:07 remaining in the first half to push him past O’Neal. Bryant’s bucket was originally ruled a 3-pointer before being changed to a 2 after the shot was reviewed.

O’Neal retired this past offseason after scoring 28,596 points in a 19-year career with Orlando, Miami, Phoenix, Cleveland, Boston and the Lakers. Bryant, a 16-year veteran, now trails only Wilt Chamberlain (31,419 points), Michael Jordan (32,292 points), Karl Malone (36,928 points) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387 points).

Bryant and O’Neal won three championships together and reached the Finals four times in the nine seasons they spent as Lakers teammates (1996-2004).
Bryant, 33, leads the league in scoring with a 29.4 points per game average and already has two scoring titles under his belt. His 25.4 points per game career average also eclipses O’Neal’s career mark of 23.7 points per game.

Next up for Bryant is Chamberlain, a fellow Philadelphia native.

Bryant and Chamberlain have already been linked through their penchant for points in the past, as Bryant broke Chamberlain’s Pennsylvania high school scoring record by finishing with 2,883 points to Chamberlain’s 2,252. Bryant’s 81-point game on Jan. 22, 2006 also happens to be the second-highest single scoring game in league history, trailing only Chamberlain’s 100 scored on March 2, 1962.

“It’s a lot of points. It’s a lot of points,” Bryant said, looking back on Chamberlain’s feat as the 50th anniversary of The Big Dipper’s historic game approaches next month. “I think it was just one of those nights for both of us where there was really no explanation for it. You just kind of get into one of those zones and one of those moments and things happen. … I was doing mine on jump shots, though. I didn’t have to bang with too many guys down low. I was just catching and shooting.”

While it took more than 40 years for another player to score 80 points or more after Chamberlain scored 100, Bryant said his and Chamberlain’s scoring totals are achievable.

“I believe so,” Bryant said when asked if any player would ever join him and Chamberlain with a matching single-game scoring outburst. “One day it will happen.”

Lakers coach Mike Brown thinks Bryant could land at the top by the time he calls it a career.

“It might be tough for him to pass Kareem, but he should get close,” Brown said after the Lakers’ shootaround Monday. “He should catch Malone.”

By Dave McMenamin / ESPNLosAngeles.com
  • http://kobebryant.com/members/agust1337/ Agust

    Congratulation Kobe!

  • http://kobebryant.com/members/freshprince/ freshprince

    congrats kb! job well done..nice quote by shaq..props from the big fella! accomplishment well deserved..wanted a win but great feat nonetheless! win in boston and nyk will be nice! wonder what he rocks those two games??

  • http://kobebryant.com/members/kobeschica/ Kobes Chica

    Congratulations Kobe! Amazing accomplishment!

  • http://kobebryant.com/members/ladymamba24/ Ladymamba24

    This accomplishment shows his dedication off the court, the long hours of shooting practice and thats why I’m his fan *_*

  • http://kobebryant.com/members/kb24chitown/ Alex

    Congrats Kobe on this amazing accomplishment! keep up the hard work and you will be on TOP!

  • Vera

    It’s worth for you to insistent on each game even have gotten hurt. The spirit inspired me toward my aim and be more patient on my job. Hope attend to my goal like you. I am glad to hear the news and hope you keep going to get next goal. You are great, Kobe.

  • Christian Urbina

    Kobe is the greatest player ever! Heres a quick joke “Lebron called Kobe, and Kobe picked up the 5th ring” Kobe congrats you deserve it! Nobody has more drive or a greater work ethic than you! BLACK MAMBA ALL DAY!!!!!

  • http://kobebryant.com/members/gladys/ gladys

    bravo! you’re truly on top !!! in every game, it was a tension day for me too. My hands are cold and nervous. Feel weak the whole day!! That’s me guys if u loses game. I prayed alot to win. i know how hard for guys to battle in every game and i/we your fans all over the world especially my country Philippines are always there to support, to cheer to pray to reach your goal. Congratulations Mr. KB24 “the black mamba” for all your achievements. and more awards to come…more championship and good health for always that’ the important. Kisses to your kids. I salute KB24 !!!–