Last night against New Orleans, in the middle of an important three game road trip, Bryant made history by hitting the 30,000 career point plateau.
During an 18-year career that began in 1996 when he decided to take his talents to the NBA instead of college, Bryant has put the ball in the basket in every way imaginable. He began as a superb athlete with a slick handle, an uncanny ability to put the ball in the hoop and an above-average jump shot, and he’s turned into a player who’s a threat whenever he touches the ball on the offensive end. Bryant turned into a wizard in the post, utilizing pump-fakes, turn-arounds, step-throughs and drop-steps.
“Honestly, I don’t why I’m still working as hard as I am after 17 years,” Bryant told the LA Times following his historic night. “It’s just, I enjoy what I do. I think that’s the thing I’m most proud of is every year and every day working hard at it. It’s a lot of years, a lot of work.”
Those words are what separate him from the player who is content with being in the NBA and scoring 15 points a night. Kobe can speak those words and back them up nightly because he’s worked his ass off in the gym his whole life to do so.