In the second quarter of the Lakers-Sixers game on Monday night, Kobe Bryant was positioned on the wing. He cut back toward the top of the key, running his defender at a screen set by Derek Fisher. The defender went beneath the Fisher screen and then found his path back to Bryant, who was receiving a pass from Matt Barnes, impeded by Pau Gasol. Catch. Shoot. And then the defender got back in the frame. Kobe has scored on this type of play with countless defenders and a rotating cast of teammates. It will surely happen many times again. If the Lakers are playing as you read then it very well could be happening .. right.. NOW.
But that shot will likely be remembered by Bryant longer than many of the other similar ones. With those two points, Bryant reached yet another milestone in his illustrious NBA career, passing former teammate (and rival) Shaquille O'Neal in the all-time scoring rankings. Bryant now ranks as the fifth all-time scorer in league history, trailing only Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan, Karl Malone and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Shaq, who often clashed with Bryant even when the two won three straight NBA championships with the Lakers, congratulated his former teammate on Twitter right after he was passed on the list.
While Bryant seemed genuine when saying that he believed that he was "very fortunate" to have the career he has had thus far, he remains more focused on adding to his impressive resume than appreciating it.
"I just want No. 6, man," he told the Los Angeles Times. "I'm not asking too much. Just get me a sixth one."