Phil Jackson: Kobe Wants to Pass Jordan on All-Time Scoring List

by July 22, 2011

Phil Jackson told the LA Times last season that even though Kobe Bryant publicly tries to play off the historic scoring milestones, he desperately wants to leapfrog Michael Jordan on the all-time career scoring leaderboard. This should surprise precisely no one: “With an indifferent expression, stony silence and a downplaying of each milestone, Kobe Bryant tried hard to show that he wasn’t preoccupied with climbing the NBA’s all-time scoring list. But not many believed him, including Phil Jackson. When I asked the former Lakers coach last season which player Bryant wants to pass on the scoring list the most, Jackson replied without hesitation, ‘Michael Jordan.’ Bryant argued that wasn’t true and continued touting his sole motivation entails trying to minimize the gap between Bill Russell’s 11 NBA titles and his own five. Bryant isn’t lying when he says that’s his main motivation, but it’s misleading to act indifferent about it when teammates, media and the general public know he’s driven to be the best player ever.”