Only five players in history have done it, and of those five players, only one has done it by the age of 34. Kobe Bryant entered the league 17 years ago as a young high school prospect from Lower Merion where he had been scouted and eventually drafted from by the Charlotte Hornets. Bryant was quickly traded to the Los Angeles Lakers where we have since seen what is undoubtedly one of the greatest careers in league history. Today, Kobe Bryant notched his 30,000th career point. He stands 5th on the all time scoring list, behind Chamberlain, Jordan, Malone and Kareem. This was a moment where Kobe Bryant joined an elite club, that very few will ever be a part of.
We’re getting closer! Within a week we’ll be seeing our favorite teams in full swing as the regular season begins. Here is the second last installment of our season previews featuring the Orlando Magic and New Orleans Hornets.
How Will They Do?
Unfortunately, things don’t look great for this franchise in the depths of a rebuilding phase. They’ve lost their star, had an overhaul of coaches and staff and dedicated themselves to starting over with a clean slate. The past year has been tumultuous for Orlando and the Dwightmare caused many a headache for them. Many said that when it did come time to trade him, they made a mistake getting only Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, some draft picks and change in exchange for Howard and the offloading of a contract or two. Management have stood firm in their decision to move forward slowly, and rebuild this team from its grass roots and they have warned fans “this may be a difficult time, stick with us”. Guys like Jameer Nelson and Hedu Turkgolu now have the wight of a franchise on their shoulders with little help. The incoming of Arron Afflalo should help the Magic on the scoring end, but how well can Afflalo maintain efficiency without help? Will JJ Redick and Glen Davis contribute to a point where the team can win games? No. The Magic aren’t interested in winning anything this season. They know they’ll be horrible, and with that will likely come some very good draft picks. What they do want to do is remain tough. Play as a team and build chemistry. Considering the Magic’s strengths lie with their younger core, don’t be surprised if they deal away some of their veterans in order to clear even more room and have an even better shot building a strong team over the next few seasons. It’s a tough time to be a Magic fan, but rest assured the pain won’t last forever.