Kobe Bryant's epic career, told in numbers big and small
LOS ANGELES (AP) Kobe Bryant has posted eye-popping numbers throughout his NBA career, which ends Wednesday night at Staples Center. Here are some notable digits illustrating two decades of brilliance from the Los Angeles Lakers' top scorer:
1 – The number of league MVP awards given to Bryant. The 2008 winner also finished second in the voting once and came in third three times. He has acknowledged that he wanted more, but it isn't the number that matters most to him.
2 – Bryant's Olympic gold medal total. He brought home the honors from Beijing and London along with his generation's best American players.
3 – Bryant's rank on the NBA's career scoring list. Only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone scored more points. Kobe passed Michael Jordan in December 2014.
5 – Bryant's championship rings. He says it's the best measure of his accomplishments, and only four players in NBA history who weren't on the Celtics' 1960s dynasty teams have more. Bryant reached seven NBA Finals.
8 – Bryant's original uniform number until the 2006-07 season. He claims he chose it as a rookie by adding the digits of an old camp jersey after learning he couldn't wear 33, which was retired for Abdul-Jabbar. Bryant switched to 24, his first high school number, for the final decade of his career, an unusual move that boosted his jersey sales.
10 – The number of Lakers head coaches during Bryant's two decades. Phil Jackson was on the bench for 11 seasons and all five titles. Longtime Lakers assistant Bill Bertka was his head coach for only one game: A victory over the Clippers in Anaheim on Feb. 25, 1999, between the tenures of Del Harris and Kurt Rambis.
11 – Bryant's All-NBA first team selections. Between 2002 and 2013, he was chosen every year except 2005.
13 – The position of Bryant's first-round draft selection in 1996 by the Charlotte Hornets, who subsequently traded him to the Lakers for Vlade Divac. Bryant was eager to join his favorite team, and he got general manager Jerry West's attention with dominant performances in pre-draft workouts.
18 – Bryant's number of All-Star selections, comprising every season except his rookie year and the lockout-shortened 1999 campaign. He shares the NBA record with four All-Star Game MVP selections. He also was the youngest starter and youngest dunk contest champion in All-Star history.
20 – The number of NBA seasons for Bryant, and the most ever played with one team. He is just the fifth player to last two full decades, joining Abdul-Jabbar (20) and Robert Parish, Kevin Willis and Kevin Garnett (21).
34 years, 104 days – Bryant's age when he scored his 30,000th NBA point in December 2012. He was the youngest player in league history to do it.
41 – The total number of games played by an injury-plagued Bryant in the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons. Numerous health woes hastened the end of his career, but he has managed to avoid a major setback this year.
65 – The number of losses by the Lakers this year heading into the final game of the worst season in franchise history.
81 – The number of points scored by Bryant against the Toronto Raptors on Jan. 22, 2006. That's the second-highest scoring performance in NBA history and arguably the most dazzling single-game offensive performance in hoops history.
166 – The number of technical fouls accumulated by Bryant. The famously fiery competitor didn't get a T until his fourth NBA season, but he got a career-high 16 in 2010-11. He hasn't received one in his final season.
1,346 – Bryant's total regular-season games heading into the finale.
1,499 – Bryant's career offensive rebounds heading into the finale. With one more board, he would be the 190th NBA player to grab 1,500 – right behind Nene.
2021 – The first year Bryant would be eligible to enter the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. A player must be retired for four full seasons before he can be featured in the voting, which would be held in December 2020.
8,368 – The number of free throws made by Bryant, third in NBA history.
9,999 – The number of free throws shot by Bryant, fifth in NBA history.
14,453 – The number of regular-season shots missed by Bryant heading into his finale, the most in NBA history. Only 72 players have ever even ATTEMPTED more shots in a NBA career.
33,583 – The number of points scored by Bryant. That's an average of 25.0 per game over 20 years.
48,595 – Total regular-season minutes played by Bryant, fifth-most in NBA history. He also played 8,646 playoff minutes. All told, Bryant spent 954 hours – just under 40 full days – playing in NBA games.
$25,000,000 – Bryant's salary this season, the highest in the NBA. Lakers owner Jim Buss doesn't regret giving the enormous contract to Bryant, saying it was the right thing to do for a franchise icon.