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LeBron James ties Kobe Bryant in games played

LeBron James & Kobe Bryant

LeBron stands on the Mount Rushmore of minutes played while still yet to crack the top ten for games played

It goes without question that Kobe Bryant lived out one of the most worthwhile and memorable careers to ever grace the game. It was an honor to watch the incredibly raw and scrawny teenager who stood out for his lionhearted demeanor reach the legendary heights and falls and astonishingly, heights again of NBA glory. Through all those cherished moments, to now know that LeBron James has played the same amount of games and is still this great?

There has never been a man like him.

LeBron by the Rankings

For context, the All-Time Games Played List now looks like this:

  1. Robert Parish: 1,611 G
  2. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: 1,560 G
  3. Vince Carter: 1,541 G
  4. Dirk Nowitzki: 1,522 G
  5. John Stockton: 1,504 G
  6. Karl Malone: 1,476 G
  7. Kevin Garnett: 1,462 G
  8. Moses Malone: 1,455 G
  9. Kevin Willis: 1,424 G
  10. Jason Terry: 1,410 G
  11. Tim Duncan: 1,392 G
  12. Jason Kidd: 1,391 G
  13. Reggie Miller: 1,389 G
  14. Clifford Robinson: 1,380
  15. LeBron James: 1,346

T15. Kobe Bryant: 1,346 

It’s unnecessary to pull players down to bring another player up. But let’s just say no one on that list was averaging 29-8-6 as a 37-year old. Also, here's a list that makes the above one even more astonishing.

The All-Time Minutes Played List:

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  1. Kareem Abdul Jabbar: 57,446 MP
  2. Karl Malone: 54,582 MP 
  3. Dirk Nowitzki: 51, 368 MP
  4. LeBron James: 51, 374
  5. Kevin Garnett: 50,418 MP
  6. Jason Kidd: 50,111 MP
  7. Elvin Hayes: 50,000 MP
  8. Moses Malone: 49,444 MP
  9. Kobe Bryant: 48,637 MP
  10. Wilt Chamberlain: 47,859 MP
  11. John Stockton: 47,764 MP
  12. Reggie Miller: 47,619 MP
  13. Tim Duncan: 47,368 MP
  14. Artis Gilmore: 47,134 MP
  15. Gary Payton: 47,117 MP

LeBron stands on the Mount Rushmore of minutes played while still yet to crack the top ten for games played. That difference highlights the load LeBron has shouldered compared to those other legends. Regardless of your opinion on LeBron, whether he is your GOAT or not, accomplishments like today should be admired and understood for their rarity. 

Greatness needs to be appreciated outside of a fan-driven debate

This is not simply LeBron passing Kobe in minutes but how LeBron passed Kobe in minutes. 

Youngest player ever to reach 1k, 2k, 3k… 36K points

  • 3rd in points
  • 1st in playoff points
  • 14th in defensive rebounds
  • 6th in playoff rebounds
  • 7th in assists
  • 2nd in playoff assists
  • 10th in steals
  • 1st in playoff steals
  • 10 Finals Appearances. 

And that list could stretch on for pages…

Do people recognize LeBron’s greatness? Pssst, of course, they do. Even the most biased MJ fanboys known for always crapping on LeBron (think Skip Bayless), acknowledge his distinction by their need to put him down. This is not the same as comparing the two and identifying specific weak points and moments. That’s acceptable. But we know those guys, and maybe your the one who can’t look at a historical achievement like this and not have your first thought be ‘MJ was 32nd in minutes 99th in games and still did all that. 

That’s what this piece is about, appreciating a milestone without dragging another great down. 

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