Achievements That Would Make Kobe Bryant Even More Legendary
Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
The achievements that would make Kobe Bryant even more legendary include those that aren't even considered for traditional stars.
As the most interesting man in basketball, Bryant has accomplished everything else.
At this point in his career, however, a sixth NBA championship to match the league's greatest player is still within reach. The opportunities to assume a coaching role, bury passing myths and become the oldest player to ever lead the league in scoring are as well.
In summarizing the legend he built, the only achievement left from there would be for Bryant to tell us all how it happened in glorious detail just as soon as his career has concluded.
Winning a Sixth NBA Title to Match Michael Jordan
Chicago Bulls' Michael Jordan, Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant
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Kobe Bryant was 19 years old when Michael Jordan led his Chicago Bulls to their sixth NBA championship.
After helping the Lakers three-peat from 2000-2002, however—followed by back-to-back titles in '09 and '10—Bryant remains only one championship away from matching Jordan's legendary mark.
While Los Angeles currently occupies the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference, it does appear Bryant will have to wait 12 months before making a legitimate run at his sixth title.
Transition into Role as Unofficial Player/Coach with Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles Lakes' Kobe Bryant
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
While he wouldn't be able to include the title on his business card because the collective bargaining agreement prohibits such roles so that it's not used to work around the salary cap, Bryant could make his coaching responsibilities clear in other ways.
Like when a timeout is called, for example, a Lakers staffer could meet Bryant on his way off the court with a dry erase board as his teammates then huddled around Coach Mamba for instruction.
Mike D'Antoni or whoever else could occupy the job in title, but it would be more evident than ever that Bryant is calling the shots.
Bury the "Can't Pass" Myth by Leading Team in Assists One More Time
Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Kobe Bryant can't pass.
That's the argument we often hear when Bryant's game is compared to other NBA legends'.
The truth is, though—starting with the 4.9 assists he averaged during the 1999-2000 campaign—Bryant has actually led his team in assists per game on the season 10 different times.
In 2012-13, while leading the Lakers in total assists, Bryant's average of 5.8 per night is only one assist shy of teammate Steve Nash's 6.8 mark.
If Bryant is able to extend his career past 2014 while leading his team in assists one more time along the way, he could remind those who never noticed that he's always been a playmaker too.
Become the Oldest Player in NBA History to Lead the League in Scoring
Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant
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Michael Jordan became the oldest player in NBA history to lead the league in scoring during his 1997-98 season with the Chicago Bulls.
Jordan was 35 years and 61 days old when he accomplished that feat.
Kobe Bryant—who turns 35 in August—could assume that title if he were able to outscore the Association in 2013-14.
With one year remaining on his current contract, Bryant's 27.2 points rank third in the NBA through Wednesday.
Though he will be younger than Jordan was in '98 as the 2012-13 campaign concludes, Bryant is only one point behind the league-leading Kevin Durant at the moment.
Mamba Writes: An Autobiography of an NBA Legend
Los Angeles Lakers' Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant
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Ever since he entered the Twittersphere, I've only wanted to read more from the Mamba.
But there is really only one person who is capable of accurately depicting the true mystique of Kobe Bryant, and that is Bryant himself.
Mambaisms—like this gem from Wednesday—would go a long way in filling a how-to book for NBA success.
"Don't tell me how rough the water is. Just bring the boat in" Mambaism=No excuses— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) March 27, 2013
Combining this with the candid delivery Bryant offers while recalling past games, titles and teammates, however, means it would instantly become a required read for anyone who ever picked up a basketball.
Which is why when it's all said and done, adding the achievement of best-selling author to his résumé would most adequately summarize his legendary career.