Lakers guard Kobe Bryant knows that his place in NBA history would be meaningless without the great players who came before him.

When Bryant passed Michael Jordan on the all-time scoring list, moving into third place, the two talked. Jordan’s message?

“Go get Karl [Malone],” he said of former Jazz great Karl Malone, who ranks second all-time with 36,928 points.

Bryant, who wasn’t in the lineup against the Bulls on Thursday at the United Center, has 32,365 points. Bryant’s list of “thank-yous” rivals an Oscar-winning speech.

“It was more of a thankful feeling to Michael and the players who came before because I’ve learned so much from them,” Bryant said. “And I don’t say that lightly. I’ve literally just stole [expletive] from them, like spin moves and pull-ups. It’s not me passing these players. It’s us. I’ve literally taken things from their games and made them my own.”

Jordan is fourth all-time with 32,292 points.