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Thursday, December 06, 2012

Bryant Joins Erving and Jordan in Elite 30,000 Point Club

Kobe Bryant scored 29 points on Wednesday night as his L.A. Lakers defeated the New Orleans Hornets, 103-87; he became just the sixth member of pro basketball's 30,000 point club, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain and Julius Erving. Most media outlets will probably ignore Erving in this discussion but ABA Numbers Should Also Count and Erving was not only just the third player to cross the 30,000 point barrier but he was also the first "midsize" player to do so. Jordan and now Bryant are the only other "midsize" players on the list, which is a testament to the productivity, consistency and durability that Erving, Jordan and Bryant each displayed during their careers. It is disappointing--but not at all surprising--that ESPN "expert" Bill Simmons admitted that he did not even know which players were on this list (presumably referring to the NBA-only list; Simmons likely does not have a clue about the significance of Erving's ABA accomplishments and/or where Erving stands in pro basketball's Pantheon).

The 34 year old Bryant is the youngest player to score 30,000 points; if he averages at least 25 ppg (he currently leads the league in scoring with a 27.9 ppg average, including 31.2 ppg in his last five games) and does not retire when his current contract ends (after the 2013-14 season) then he will surpass Abdul-Jabbar's all-time record (38,387 points) early in the 2016-17 season. Bryant has the third highest career scoring average among the 30,000 point club members (25.4 ppg), trailing only Jordan and Chamberlain (30.1 ppg each, the highest regular season scoring average in pro basketball history--with Jordan holding on to top honors by .05 ppg).

In February 2011, Bryant became the eighth member of the 25,000/5000/5000 Club and now he is just the fifth player who has scored at least 30,000 points while also accumulating at least 5000 rebounds and at least 5000 assists (Abdul-Jabbar, Malone, Jordan and Erving are the others). Abdul-Jabbar, Malone and Erving are the only members of pro basketball's 30,000/10,000/5000 Club, a group that Bryant is several thousand rebounds short of joining.

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posted by David Friedman @ 2:55 AM



At Thursday, December 06, 2012 4:49:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kobe and Jordan being the only "midsize" players over 30 000, with so many great midsize scorers that played the game, shows just how special these two are. I really don't care for the Greatest of All Time discussion, i loved watching Jordan, like i loved watching Isiah Thomas and Magic before him, but i must confess the one that i like best is Kobe. As i said, don't know and don't care if he is the GOAT but he is the one I have enjoyed more watching. A very special player with a very special skillset and even more special atitude towards the game.
Nuno Rechena

At Thursday, December 06, 2012 4:53:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...


Don't forget Erving, the third "midsize" scorer in this group; the point of this article is that Erving's accomplishments should be remembered, too!

At Thursday, December 06, 2012 9:56:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, i did forget him, not because i don't like him but because i have never seen a full game of him. I have seen the highlights and he seems amazing, but one can never truly judge a player without seeing full games of him. I started watching the nba at 12, in 1986, and never got to see him, we only had a game for week on tv back then in Portugal, so i didn't get to see Julius Erving but i believe you when you say that he was one of the greatest ever. I'll try to watch some full games if i can get them :D
Nuno Rechena

At Thursday, December 06, 2012 9:58:00 AM, Blogger Awet M said...

Why isn't anyone saying the more important fact:

Wilt scored his 30,000th point in 941 games. MJ, 960. KAJ, 1101. Malone, 1152. Bryant, 1179. Erving, 1243.

At Thursday, December 06, 2012 10:24:00 AM, Anonymous boyer said...

It's one thing for Simmons to write idiotic articles from time to time, but for espn to let him on their nba show, what a joke. I don't see it that often, but he's certainly not a good fit, even if he knew his basketball.

I was surprised to see an article on his website this morning by Kirk Goldsberry who does a nice job on his own website: courtvisionanalytics, talking about "the kobe assist." When Kobe misses shots, his team more often than not gets the off. rebound and/or scores, and he's one of the best, if not the best, in the league, in this category. Not really a surprise, but interesting there's stats for that. I think that would be a very important stat. Sure, having great rebounders on your team helps, but anyone can rebound when 2-3 defenders are often on Kobe.

Not surprisingly, the WoW community thinks Kobe's accomplishment is average. Weird group of people there, and not surprisingly that nobody in the nba is listening to them, and they still haven't figured that out.

At Thursday, December 06, 2012 3:20:00 PM, Blogger David Friedman said...


You did "forget" Erving: in the first sentence of your original comment you said that Kobe and Jordan are the only "midsize" players who scored more than 30,000 points. You don't have to see Erving play to acknowledge his membership in the 30,000 point club.

At Thursday, December 06, 2012 3:23:00 PM, Blogger David Friedman said...

Awet M:

Why is that fact more important to you than the fact that ABA players are routinely ignored in discussion of all-time pro basketball records? In any case, you are wrong that the games played statistic is being ignored; several sources have cited it. The NBA and its media partners are deliberately throwing ABA history and ABA statistics down Orwell's proverbial "memory hole." That is much more significant than stating who needed the fewest games to reach the 30,000 point plateau--particularly when that stat is in not being ignored anyway.

At Thursday, December 06, 2012 3:43:00 PM, Blogger David Friedman said...


I have been saying for many years that the extraordinary amount of defensive attention that Bryant attracts creates offensive rebounding opportunities for his teammates. It should also be mentioned that when Doug Collins was a television commentator he often said that some of the missed shots by Kobe Bryant and Allen Iverson was as good as assists because the defense had to collapse on Bryant and Iverson in order to force them to miss.

At Sunday, December 09, 2012 3:02:00 AM, Anonymous Charles said...


I find it amusing to hear that Simmons floundered when asked about the 30K list, as when he produced his own version of the "Pantheon" in his book he added some very detailed statistics for every player he named (Erving was ranked 16th, and ironically his bio included explicit mention of him being in the 30K-10K club).

I don't understand him being selected to be on ESPN's show either, as Simmons is to serious sports analysts as the WWE is to real sports. He's an entertainer first and foremost (not that there's anything bad about that), but they really should avoid trying to pass him off as someone with actual insight.

At Sunday, December 09, 2012 10:46:00 AM, Anonymous Jackf said...

What do you make of Simmons "The Kobe Question" article?

People forget Bill Simmons is a Celtics fan. I dont like his style of writing. He is not every objective. It is kinda like a lite-Kelly Dwyer style writing. One minute they say something positive and the next minute he says something totally contradictory. I remember seeing an interview he did where somebody who was close to John Wooden said that John Wooden thought the greatest player he ever saw play was Kobe Bryant. Simmons was in such disbelief that he totally dismissed it and told the guy that John wooden was old and forget things(or something like that). Look up youtube, the interview is one there i think.
Edit: here it is

People will not always like kobe's way of playing. What do you think would happen if Jordan didn't have Phil Jax, Pippen and guys like Harper playing with him? He would have internally destroy those teams too. With massive personalities like kobe, you need Yang type characters on the team to balance things out. When we made it to finals 3 str8 years we had guys like Odom, Fisher and Phil Jackson on the team to keep kobe's yin energy from engulfing the team.

As for Me i have enjoyed watching Kobe play for the Lakers. It has been a great ride. Never a dull moment(good or bad). I think what irks people the most is that post-prime Kobe is as good or better than post-prime Jordan. Kobe should have been done 3 years ago when guys like Barkley were claiming Kobe would never score 40pts again.

At Monday, December 10, 2012 12:08:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...

Jack F:

I don't make anything of the Simmons article because I have not read it and I have no intention to read it. I stopped reading Simmons, Dwyer, Abbott and other incompetent basketball "analysts" quite some time ago and I am much happier now. I recommend that you and others take the same course of action.

At Monday, December 10, 2012 3:39:00 AM, Blogger jackson888 said...

lakers need to start hill if they want to improve their energy level, if they want to win. hill provides active post and help defense(something dwight exhorts teammates to help him out with). if gasol has the more complete skill set(plus a hall of fame career, i am also looking at his international game resume), hill provides the offensive boards and the hustle/energy, all things lakers seriously need right now(offensive boardwork leads to lesser fastbreak points for the opposing team). and with gasol on the second team, he can have more touches on the low block which is what he wanted all along. lakers intensity picks up every time jordan hill enters the game.
reserves have to pick up when kobe goes to the bench. the first 5 minutes of the 4th quarter have been killing the lakers for a few games already.
start jordan hill. put gasol, jamison and meeks on the second team. i think this will cure a lot of the ills that are hounding the lakers. coupled with nash's coming back, these ought to put the lakers on a run. nash coming back will lead to a better run offense(lesser team turnovers) and hill starting will cure defensive woes(plus more offensive rebounding). both will lead to lesser fastbreak points by the opposing team, something that has absolutely been killing the lakers this year.

At Monday, December 10, 2012 4:05:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...


Jordan Hill is a nice journeyman role player/energy guy. He is not a starting power forward on a championship contender. Also, Pau Gasol is not a bench player; he never has been one during his career and he will not adjust well to being one now. If he cannot fit in with what the Lakers are trying to do--or if he simply is a declining player, which is what I suspect--then the Lakers should trade him to one of the teams run by "stat gurus," because those guys think that Gasol can be a "foundational player," to quote the way that Morey described James Harden (who is a very good player but most assuredly not a "foundational player").

At Monday, December 10, 2012 5:11:00 AM, Blogger jackson888 said...


mostly, i agree with you. except for one issue, jordan hill, journeyman, and not a starter for a championship team.
that hill is a journeyman, that i concede. he did play for a few teams already. there are 2 sides to this situation though. there are definitely teams that either don't value his skill set and energy plays or teams that don't need them(they might have a similar guy filling that role already). and there are teams that value those things that hill brings to the table(recipient teams of hill trade). that hill could not be a starter on a championship team i digress. kurt rambis. a. c. green. both were starters on lakers championship teams. both provide the same things hill provides right now. both are power forwards/centers, much like jordan hill is right now. offensive boards, defense and energy plays. i am very impressed with his work ethic. goes after every ball with complete effort(watch him contest a rebound horizontally or rebound out of his area). watch him guard a pick and roll and recover to his man. tremendous effort all of the time. motor just keeps on running. and he doesn't play out of his designated role. hit the open mid range jumpshot on a catch and shoot. finish hard on a drop pass from a perimeter player. one dribble jump hook. in other words, a very good role player. scores witout plays run for him. boards above average. plays above average post and help defense. and the rim runs. something dwight needs to do more.
that pau is declining is obvious. that lakers need to trade him(though i really love the way pau played when lakers won those last 2 chips) is also obvious. from multiple standpoints, lakers need to trade pau. we can see only one scenario where the lakers don't trade pau, that is if the lakers recover and eventually win the chip and the management decides eventually to let the team defend its title. outside of this scenario, we will see pau get traded either at the trading deadline this year or during the off season. no need explaining why lakers need to trade pau(beating a dead horse) since it has been debated and discussed thoroughly.
that stat gurus will not run a professional team well isn't even up for debate. asinine statements and arguments being put forward just because their system churned out certain numbers regarding certain players. remember rasheed wallace having a ridiculous PER for his first 2 games. just because he grabbed a few boards and made a few 3's during garbage time in very limited minutes(sheed is an outstanding player throughout his career though, and i am definitely not saying he is a garbage time player right now, just that he did play those garbage time minutes during his first few games back).
that harden is not a franchise player is also quite obvious. i commented before that i will withhold judgment on harden until he starts and plays against starters regularly. that the stat gurus are wrong regarding harden is also quite obvious. he isn't that efficient after all when he battles starters regularly. that they don't understand the game is also beyond doubt. can't fathom how pro ball writers/bloggers now still say wade is much better than bryant(they always bring out wade's per numbers). moreso when they say that harden is better than bryant. totally ridiculous. i think you can produce a far more detailed and complete rebuttal for both than i do.

At Monday, December 10, 2012 1:42:00 PM, Blogger David Friedman said...


While there are examples of journeyman starters for championship teams (Marc Iavaroni is another), I disagree that Hill is an A.C. Green-caliber player. Perhaps Hill is better than Rambis but those Lakers had multiple HoFers in their primes, while the Lakers have one potential HoFer in his prime (Howard, who is not fully healthy), two HoFers past their primes (Kobe and the injured Nash) and a declining Gasol (who may make the HoF not so much based on his NBA career but rather his total body of work including FIBA play). Maybe you are right about Hill but at this point I disagree with you.

You are right on target about the "stat gurus" and the other stuff that you mentioned.

At Monday, December 10, 2012 10:44:00 PM, Blogger jackson888 said...

isn't iavaroni a big man who was a good long range shooter? not the rambis/ac green/jordan hill type? that's all i can remember of iavaroni... did he get a championship with any nba team?

At Monday, December 10, 2012 11:15:00 PM, Blogger David Friedman said...


No, Iavaroni was a poor man's Kurt Rammbis. The Sixers started him in order to use Bobby Jones as the sixth man. Jones won the Sixth Man of the Year award in 1982-83 as the Sixers rolled to the championship. Iavaroni started for that team.

A.C. Green made the All-Star team and the All-Defensive team during his career, so I would not lump him in with Rambis or Iavaroni or Hill.

At Monday, December 10, 2012 11:40:00 PM, Blogger jackson888 said...

thanks david for the info on marc...

i remember ac green playing on one all star team... if i remember it correctly, the lakers had four all stars that year. but jordan hill's skill set as well as hustle/energy plays matches ac green's, and jordan hill is bigger than ac green. i get your point that green is much more accomplished than hill, but i believe hill will get there. once he becomes a starter alongside kobe, dwight and nash and the lakers win a championship, hill will get his recongnition. maybe i am just very impartial with role players who who play within their skill sets and play defense with a passion. you are mostly right in player evaluations, but i think hill is very underappreciated right now. well, i may be wrong after all.

At Tuesday, December 11, 2012 12:30:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...


I like Hill's game a lot and you are correct that he hustles and is a good energy player. I just don't think that he is as good as A.C. Green was nor am I convinced that he can start for a championship team a la Rambis and Iavaroni; the current Lakers' squad is not talented or deep enough to put a journeyman in the starting lineup.

At Tuesday, December 11, 2012 11:16:00 AM, Anonymous LakerFan in Jamaica said...

David, what do you think is wrong with this current Lakers squad? Yes, there is the injury factor (Nash, Gasol, recovering Howard)and the fact that the Lakers are not particularly deep (but then neither were the 2009 and 2010 teams that won the championship). And then, there's the issue of learning and un-learning a new offense without a training camp to really develop team chemistry.

But I'm really intrigued to hear your take on what's going on with them. As a fan, I'm completely frustrated by seeing them struggle so much and mainstream media commentary does little or nothing to alleviate that frustration. From the ubiquitous "it's all Kobe's fault, he shoots too much " to rants over why the Lakers should never have chosen Mike D'Antoni over Phil Jackson, it's hard to get a good read on what the real problem is. So far the only useful thing I've seen is a comment from Jerry West made two seasons ago that the Lakers were struggling and would continue to struggle on defense because of the collective mileage on their key players' legs (too much tread on the tires, as he put it).

Is that it? Or is it a combination of all of the above?

At Tuesday, December 11, 2012 1:24:00 PM, Blogger David Friedman said...


I prefer that the comments section for each article focus on the subject of the article in question. This comment section has shifted focus from the 30,000 point club to Kobe Bryant's career in general (which is at least tangentially related to the subject matter) to this year's Lakers team, which is really a completely different subject. I have addressed that subject in other articles and I am sure that I will do so in the future but I don't want to hijack this thread by addressing it here.

At Tuesday, December 11, 2012 10:11:00 PM, Blogger jackson888 said...


sorry for hijacking this thread with my previous posts...

kobe had another monster game offensively. apart from letting cj miles hit that first open jumper without closing out aggressively, kobe played well defensively the rest of the game. sense of urgency seems to have kicked in for kobe and he has played both sides of the court with equal aggression and attention. and kobe has gone back to picking up the opposing team's best perimeter player(irving) during the crucial end game situations. great sign for the lakers. i see the lakers turning the corner soon. as coach mda said, time will come when the line has to be drawn on the sand. and the lakers are approaching that moment. this is the first time i have felt good even when the lakers lost. kobe is leading(great sign of kobe's leadership is when he picked up dwight even after they just had a spat; being accountable and accepting his mistakes when being called out, even when dwight did so publicly). when a leader does so, everyone will follow soon.

At Tuesday, December 11, 2012 10:31:00 PM, Blogger jackson888 said...


my top ten players of all time... jordan, magic, russell, kareem, KOBE, wilt, dr. j, bird, jerry west and oscar robertson, in that order. but i have no problem if other people have their own order of the top ten players just because a convincing case can be made for any of them being the best players or greatest of all time. really sad i had to leave out elgin baylor just because he has no rings despite all his accomplishments(getting to the finals multiple times throughout his career has to count for something though).
keenly await your pantheon series updates.


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