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Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant passed Michael Jordan on the NBA all-time scoring list on Sunday night during the win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Bryant moves into third place behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone after he hit two free throws in the second quarter against Minnesota to move beyond Jordan (32,292 points).
“I’m just honored to be here, man, to still be playing,” Bryant said. “I appreciate being able to play this long. Careers normally don’t last this long. I really appreciate the opportunity to still be out there playing and performing and doing what I do.”
The 36-year-old is in his 19th season in the league and scored 26 on 7-of-20 shooting to go along with six rebounds and two assists. However, having spent most of his career in the shadow of Jordan as media and fans continued to compare the duo, Jordan himself congratulated the Lakers star on his feat.
“I congratulate Kobe on reaching this milestone,” Jordan told the Associated Press in a statement. “He’s obviously a great player, with a strong work ethic and has an equally strong passion for the game of basketball. I’ve enjoyed watching his game evolve over the years, and I look forward to seeing what he accomplishes next.”
“He knows how much I’ve learned from him,” Bryant said of Jordan. “From the other legends, but him in particular.”
The likes of LeBron James and Magic Johnson took to Twitter to share their congratulations with Bryant, and it was certainly a memorable moment for the Lakers star with the Timberwolves playing their part on the night.