Cover Image for Kobe Bryant is the highest point getter in the Playoffs before turning 25 over LeBron James and Jayson Tatum

Kobe Bryant is the highest point getter in the Playoffs before turning 25 over LeBron James and Jayson Tatum

Akash Murty
|Tue Aug 09 2022

Had Kobe Bryant got the chance to be a starter in the Lakers squad as soon he made it into the league, the GOAT conversation might have been a little bit different.

The 1998-99 season would be the last season Kobe would average under 20 points per game in an NBA season until his last season he would play in 2015-16.

After making his debut in 1996 Bryant didn’t get a lot of chance to showcase his skills in the first two years. Edie Jones and Nick Van Exel were the starting guards of the team at the time.

Getting Shaquille O’Neal as a free agent and giving him the biggest deal in NBA history made the LA Lakers a contender, even if they did not have another All-Star on that roster at that time.

So they didn’t dare take the chance to give a rookie such high responsibility and made Bryant wait two years before he could become a starter.

Although Jones and Exel did have All-Star years, they couldn’t get past the Conference Finals even with The Big Diesel’s putting up monster numbers throughout the season and upping that in the Playoffs.

Also read: “For 6’6” Kobe Bryant use length, and LeBron James you gotta fight through 150 pick-and-rolls”: Tayshaun Prince detailed the difference in guarding the Black Mamba and The King


Kobe Bryant is still the highest point-getter in Playoffs history before turning 25

As soon as Bryant got the starting spot, he started putting up All-Star numbers all across the board. The 20-year-old got that nod in his 3rd year and played all 50 games of the shortened NBA season and averaged 19.9p/5.3r/3.8a/1.4s/1b per game and improved on it in the playoffs but got knocked out in the second round.

That would be his and the Lakers’ last early exit for the next three years. In fact, they would win the next three championships led by the resilient youngster in Bryant and otherworldly superstar in O’Neal.

By the end of the 2001-02 season, with the Lakers lifting their 3rd straight championship, a 24-year-old Kobe had an average of 25.7 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 1.5 steals, and a block a game between 2000-02’s 55 Playoffs games.

Including next year’s post-season numbers The Black Mamba is still the highest point getter in the playoffs games before turning 25 years old over the greatest prodigy LeBron James, and the young superstar of this era, Jayson Tatum. And by miles.

Also read: Brook Lopez outplayed $790 million worth Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett in 3-pts and blocks when at their very best

Now, we may argue that Magic Johnson had the greatest impact as soon as he came into the league back in 1979, by the time he won the 3rd championship he was over 25.
So, there is enough to conclude Kobe is the GOAT youngster. Just putting it out there.


About the author
Akash Murty

Akash Murty

A sports enthusiast, crazy about basketball and football. Like putting forward my opinion on the things I know about, but restrain myself from doing that in my articles because my job is to report. Cover everything Lakers and NBA-related, both old and new.

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