Now Bryant in is elite company. The only other players to score more than 30,000 are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain.
''It's pretty awesome,'' Bryant said. ''These are players I respect tremendously and obviously grew up idolizing and watching and learned a great deal from.''
When Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni was asked before tipoff about Bryant's impending milestone, the coach joked, ''That just means he is old.''
In fact, at 34, Bryant is younger than the other four were when they hit the mark, but Bryant also turned pro at 18, and is in his 17th season.
''Honestly, I don't know why I'm still working as hard as I am after 17 years,'' Bryant said. ''I enjoy what I do. I think that's the thing that I'm most proud of: every year, every day working hard at it. It's a lot of years, a lot of work.''
Well done Kobe.