Today in Sports History: December 25

By Brandon Zhu

In 2007, Kobe Bryant became the youngest player ever to reach 20,000 points (29 years, 122 days). Playing in Madison Square Garden against the New York Knicks, Bryant’s third quarter three-pointer helped him reach the milestone. Madison Square Garden was also the arena where Bryant scored his first NBA points. Bryant spent his entire 20-season career with the Los Angeles Lakers, and finished with 33,643 career points. He currently ranks 4th on the NBA All-Time Points Leaders list. In his career, Bryant helped lead the Lakers to five NBA championships. Shaquille O’ Neal teamed up with Bryant to help the Lakers three peat in 2000, 2001, and 2002, marking the second time the Lakers franchise won three titles in a row. Bryant won another two championships in 2009 and 2010, he was named Finals MVP both years.  In the 2009 NBA Finals, Bryant averaged 32.4 points, 7.4 assists, 5.6 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 1.4 blocks. Bryant earned NBA Finals MVP and helped the Lakers defeat the Orlando Magic 4-1. In 2010, the Lakers repeated as champions defeating the Boston Celtics in a heated 7 game series. Bryant’s other accolades include NBA MVP (2008), 15x All-NBA Team selections, 12x NBA All-Defensive Team selections, 2x NBA scoring champion, and 18x NBA All-Star. Bryant’s no.8 and 24 jerseys were retired by the Los Angeles Lakers.

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