Kobe Bryant Moves To Sixth on Scoring List: How He Will Get To No. 1

Joseph FafinskiCorrespondent IMarch 9, 2011

ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 08:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts to an official during the game against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on March 8, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers once again took care of business as they have done so often lately, defeating the playoff-hungry Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena in a 101-87 thrashing.

In the process, Bryant moved into sixth place on the NBA's all-time scoring list, surpassing the legendary Moses Malone.

With 2:05 remaining in the second quarter, the Black Mamba hit three free throws in a row, effectively squashing Malone's total and further setting his place in NBA history.

Malone, a once-in-a-generation rebounder and a guy whose scoring was also out of this world at times, did the deed in 21 seasons in the association. Amazingly, Bryant was able to put up better scoring numbers in just his 15th year.

Bryant's 25.3 career scoring average is significantly better than Moses' 20.6, a truthful attribute to the scoring ability that he possesses.

When all is said and done, Kobe will likely grace the top three on the scoring list.

Next up is his ex-best friend Shaquille O'Neal, who has 28,590 career points. That number will likely be attainable for Bryant, who at the moment sports a 27,423 career total.

Bryant has seemingly not hit a decline yet, and this season is averaging a solid 25.1 points per contest. If he averages those current numbers, it means he will surpass the Diesel sometime next winter.

Did I mention that he is only 32 years old at this moment?

To be honest, Bryant has at least five or six more seasons in him, and I can see him possibly surpassing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's astounding record of 38,387 points.

Assume Kobe is on his current pace of 25.1 points per game. Using that average, after this season he will have a total of 27,875 points.

Ever since he came into the league in 1996, Kobe has played in an average of 73 games every season. At the same time, let's assume his knees take a little toll on ol' Kobe and he averages one point less per game in the following seasons, but understanding that he wouldn't average below 21 points per game, as he hasn't since he was given a full-time starting role in 1999.

Using the formula given, Kobe would break the record sometime during the winter of 2017.

If Bryant has another six solid seasons left in him, like I believe he does, he would have the all-time mark in his 22nd season at the age of 39.

So what does everyone think? Is it a possibility?

This isn't of course to say that this record is everything to Kobe; he himself has stated that he wants to win more rings.

However, as all basketball fans know, rings plus records equal greatness.

Just ask that one fellow by the name of Michael Jordan how that equation worked out for him.