Gary Payton says Jordan could’ve been NBA’s all-time scoring leader

jordan-paytonGary Payton has recently told Fox Sports that hadn’t Michael Jordan retired a few times during his NBA career, there wouldn’t even be a conversation of Kobe Bryant passing him on the all-time scoring list.

Kobe Bryant has passed Jordan on NBA’s All-time scoring list. Jordan is now on 4th spot with 32,292 points.

Bryant now is only behind Karl Malone (36,928 points) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387 points). Considering Bryant’s age, he will unlikely reach Abdul-Jabbar, however if he manages to stay healthy, he will be able to reach Malone next season or so.

“Jordan missed four and a half seasons, even more than that,” Payton said. “If Michael played those four seasons, he would’ve gained 6,000-6,500 points more, and in my mind he would be today the NBA’s all-time scoring leader.”

When Kobe Bryant surpassed Jordan’s record, MJ issued a diplomatic statement, congratulating Bryant on the achievement.

““I congratulate Kobe on reaching this milestone,” said Jordan’s statement for AP. “He’s obviously a great player, with strong work ethic and has an equally strong passion for the game of basketball. I’ve enjoyed watching his game evolve over the years, and I look forward to seeing what he accomplishes next.”

A six-time NBA champion, Jordan earned fame and fortune on the basketball court, as well as through endorsements and movies.

The Hall of Fame player won six National Basketball Association championships with the Chicago Bulls. He won the NBA Most Valuable Player award five times and was named an all-star 14 times.

His on-court success and commercial endorsements have made him one of the most recognizable and prosperous athletes in the United States. Jordan played in total 1072 NBA games (1039 started), averaging 30.1 ppg, 6.2 rpg in 38.3 minutes per contest.


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