Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Kobe Bryant reflects on passing Michael Jordan’s point total in new Players Tribune article

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant


On Sunday night, Kobe Bryant passed Michael Jordan to become the NBA’s third all-time leading scorer. Now, he’s penned an essay about the achievement on Derek Jeter’s Players Tribune site, where he’s an Editorial Director (as opposed to Senior Editor, like basically every other contributor).

Bryant engages in some Jordan-getting-cut-from-his-high-school-team-esque mythmaking by detailing a summer where he scored zero points as a kid:

Zero. That’s the number of points I scored the entire summer while playing in Philadelphia’s Sonny Hill Future League when I was 12 years old. I didn’t score. Not a free throw, not an accidental layup, not even a lucky throw-the-ball-up-oops-it-went-in basket.

My father Joe “Jellybean” Bryant and my uncle John “Chubby” Cox were Future League legends in their day. My father as a 6-10 point forward and my uncle as a 6-4 point guard.

I was putting my family to shame!

It’s difficult to imagine a world where Kobe Bryant, even a 12-year-old version of Kobe, plays an entire summer of competitive basketball without scoring a single point, but it happened. He goes on to talk about his admiration for Jordan and his work ethic. He also comes up with a bizarre extended metaphor about brushing your teeth and how that relates to Father Time:
What a journey this has been. Setting this mark is a huge honor. I’m aware of Father Time’s curfew. He has sent me to my room to brush my teeth before he tucks me in, but I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t walk to the bathroom slowly. I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t act as if someone misplaced the toothpaste. I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t brush every tooth twice, brush my tongue three times, floss until my gums bleed and rinse with mouthwash until the inside of my mouth burns and then goes numb.

That’s more than anybody ever wanted to know about Kobe’s dental hygiene habits.