Reaching one of the only career basketball milestones that really gets any kind of attention, Kobe joins Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain as the only members of the club. If we include ABA statistics, Julius Erving is right at 30,026, so he deserves a little bit of credit as well.
That being said, with Kobe accomplishing such a feat, the only thing he really has left is to hunt down the guys ahead of him and see what he can do to make his way up the list.
Taking a look ahead of him, aside from Erving, Kobe is trailing Wilt Chamberlain, who is stuck on 31,419 points, so there's a slight gap.
As one of the most puzzlingly controversial players in the history of the league, it seems only necessary to examine the public and popular opinion of his accomplishment. So with the help of Twitter, I give you a look into how everybody is feeling about Kobe reaching 30,000.
As he approached the 13 points he needed, you could feel people starting to get antsy, with tweeters readying their thumbs and bloggers warming up their wit:
Kobe Bryant is a 5-point play away from 30k.
— Zach Harper (@talkhoops) December 6, 2012
Unpredictable, and generally unstoppable, Kobe dropped in his 30,000th (well, technically, 30,001st point) with a shot at the rim from Chris Duhon.
Way to go Duhon for becoming a part of history there. From that point on, Twitter exploded:
Kobe just layed one in to cross the 30,000 point threshold - SMASH. Congrats to Kobe. He's the fifth ever to get there.— Dime Smash! (@DimeSmash) December 6, 2012
Video: Kobe Bryant becomes fifth member of 30,000 points club, along with Wilt, Kareem, Malone and Jordan. youtube.com/watch?v=ixj3F0…— Matt Moore CBS (@MattMooreCBS) December 6, 2012
Of course, with such a controversial player passing a milestone, there are going to be a few playful jabs pointed his way:
Kobe never could have gotten to 30,000 this quickly if not for Smush Parker.— Jared Wade (@Jared_Wade) December 6, 2012
And you know what? Even Shaq took a few seconds out of his busy day being Shaq to give his caps-locked congratulations:
CONGRATS 2 THE GREAT KOBE "BEAN" BRYANT 4 DROPPING 30,004 POINTS OVER HIS CAREER AND STILL COUNTING.— SHAQ (@SHAQ) December 6, 2012
Nike's got a pretty cool shirt coming out to commemorate Kobe's achievement:
Kobe-backers are coming out of the closet left and right!
You learn something new every night watching the NBA: Steven Tyler just said he's "a good friend" of Kobe's. #Lakers— Tas Melas (@TasMelas) December 6, 2012
We can get a nice look at the past scoring achievements in Kobe's career as well, as this is just one of many:
Kobe scoring moments: 81 vs. Toronto on Jan. 22, 2006; 62 in 3 Q's vs. Dallas on Dec. 20, 2005; 9 straight 40+ point games in '03. #Kobe30K— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) December 6, 2012
We've also got to point out that Kobe scored that 30,000th point against the team that drafted him, only to trade him away. Oh, what could have been:
Its ironic how kobe is about to scored his 30,000th point on the team who traded him on draft day..#kobe30k— antwan3234 (@AntwanFergusonn) December 6, 2012
And finally, here's a look at a nifty infographic (via NBA.com) that charts Kobe's scoring output over his career and ultimate ascent into the record books:
Clearly, the Mamba is exceptional at what he does.