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If his ego still dictated his game, Kobe would love to be the all-time point leader in the NBA. But, the 2010 version of Kobe just wants to win, baby! When people talk about Jordan or Russell, they talk about their rings- their championships. I don’t know how many point Horry has scored but I know how many rings he has. Critics rarely bring up the fact of where an athlete is on the all-time points scored. Kobe understands that his great career will be defined by rings. Now, he is more willing to take a back seat to Gasol. He is more willing to let Fisher be the heart and soul of the team…as long as they still recognize who’s the real heffe!

As a fan, I would love to see a Laker replace a Laker on that list, but I would rather have parades down Fig instead.

This might be nitpicking but Jordan was 40 when he retired, not 39, and he averaged 20 points a game in his last season, not 19.5. I point that out because the thought that Jordan ever averaged less than 20 points a game is almost offensive, also I clearly remember him setting some scoring records for players aged 40 and above.

I've also thought about Kobe catching up to Kareem. I'm not sure he'll play 8 more seasons because that would give him a total of 22 seasons in the NBA(vs 15 seasons for Jordan at the same age, 13 really if you remove his broken foot sophomore season and the number 45 season).
But the way I look at it is that he's definitely going to sign an extension which gives him 5 more seasons (including this one) with the Lakers at a max salary. Worst case scenario, he averages 25 a game, and 75 games a season. That gives him around 33,000 points by age 35. Maybe he retires or maybe he plays on. If he does play on he'd need to average 20 points a game, 75 games a season for four more years to reach Kareem.
So given how many seasons it'd take him it's still really hard to predict if he can. He'd have to stay relatively injury free, and remain the number one option on offence for almost another decade. His best bet at this point is to increase his scoring average to the upper 20s/low 30s and maintain that for the next few seasons. That way he could get away with a 15ppg average in his last seasons, or a major injury of some sort. But given how good his team is, it's unlikely he'll be scoring that much. So like you, I probably wouldn't bet on it either.

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