Kobe Bryant became the first player in NBA history with at least 6,000 assists and 30,000 points in the Los Agneles Lakers’ 129-122 victory over the Toronto Raptors.
Bryant also notched his 20th career triple-double in the process, tallying 31 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists. He fell three assists shy of his career high.
After setting an NBA record for missed field-goal attempts, dishing out the most assists of any player to score 30,000 points indicates the balance and control in which Bryant has played with throughout his career.
Ray Allen once chided the post-Shaq/Phil era Kobe saying his pride and ego would doom the Lakers:
“He’s going to be very selfish…he feels like he needs to show this league and the people in this country that he is better without Shaq. He can win championships without Shaq. So offensively, he’s going to jump out and say, ‘I can average 30 points. I can still carry the load on this team’.”
Allen was partially correct. Bryant would go on to twice average 30 points and win championships. His play was aggressive, but far from selfish.
Ask Luke Walton who earned a six-year $30-million contract playing alongside Bryant during that span, or Trevor Ariza, who went from bench player to a $33-million dollar deal with the Houston Rockets.
The benevolence didn’t miss Sasha Vujacic, who was left wide open during Kobe’s 2008 MVP season and got $15-million over three-years.
Some like to say Shaquille O’Neal carried Kobe Bryant. But history will show that Shaq, in all of his dominance, never broke the 30,000 point plateau. Kobe will also more than double O’Neals career total of 3,026 assists.
Michael Jordan dropped 5,633 dimes in his career. Without factoring in three-point shots, that assist total is worth 11,266 points. Add in the total amount of points scored over his career (32,292) and Jordan finishes with being responsible for 43,558 points scored.
Using the same formula (Points + Assists), Kobe Bryant is responsible for 44,159 points scored. He has already passed Michael Jordan in scoring.