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Kobe Bryant opens up on passing Jordan

A day after passing Michael Jordan on the NBA's all-time scoring list, Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant shared his thoughts on the milestone in a first-person essay for The Players' Tribune.

Bryant, who is now third (32,310 points) on the career scoring list, one spot ahead of Jordan (32,292), recalled nearly giving up basketball when he was 12, before deciding to stick with it because of Jordan.

"I considered maybe just giving up basketball and just focusing on soccer," Bryant wrote. "Here’s where my respect and admiration for [Jordan] was forged. I learned that he had been cut from his high school team as a freshman; I learned he knew what it felt like to be embarrassed, to feel like a failure. But he used those emotions to fuel him, make him stronger, he didn’t quit.

"So I decided to take on my challenge the same way he did. I would channel my failure as fuel to keep my competitive fire burning. I became obsessed with proving to my family — and more importantly to myself — that I CAN DO THIS.

"It became an obsession. I learned everything about the game, the history, the players, the fundamentals. I wasn’t just determined to never have a summer of zero again, I was driven to inflict the same sense of failure on my competition as they unknowingly inflicted on me. My killer instinct to score was born.

"Twenty-four years later, I pass my muse."

Bryant passed Jordan on a pair of free throws in the second quarter of Sunday night's win against the Timberwolves in Minnesota.

He now trails only Karl Malone (36,928) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387) for career NBA points.