Tag Archives: Jordan

Kobe Bryant is the most unselfish scorer in NBA history

Kobe Bryant became the first player in NBA history with at least 6,000 assists and 30,000 points in the Los Agneles Lakers’ 129-122 victory over the Toronto Raptors.

Bryant also notched his 20th career triple-double in the process, tallying 31 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists. He fell three assists shy of his career high.

After setting an NBA record for missed field-goal attempts, dishing out the most assists of any player to score 30,000 points indicates the balance and control in which Bryant has played with throughout his career.

Ray Allen once chided the post-Shaq/Phil era Kobe saying his pride and ego would doom the Lakers:

“He’s going to be very selfish…he feels like he needs to show this league and the people in this country that he is better without Shaq. He can win championships without Shaq. So offensively, he’s going to jump out and say, ‘I can average 30 points. I can still carry the load on this team’.”

Allen was partially correct. Bryant would go on to twice average 30 points and win championships. His play was aggressive, but far from selfish.

Ask Luke Walton who earned a six-year $30-million contract playing alongside Bryant during that span, or Trevor Ariza, who went from bench player to a $33-million dollar deal with the Houston Rockets.
The benevolence didn’t miss Sasha Vujacic, who was left wide open during Kobe’s 2008 MVP season and got $15-million over three-years.

Some like to say Shaquille O’Neal carried Kobe Bryant. But history will show that Shaq, in all of his dominance, never broke the 30,000 point plateau. Kobe will also more than double O’Neals career total of 3,026 assists.

Michael Jordan dropped 5,633 dimes in his career. Without factoring in three-point shots, that assist total is worth 11,266 points. Add in the total amount of points scored over his career (32,292) and Jordan finishes with being responsible for 43,558 points scored.

Using the same formula (Points + Assists), Kobe Bryant is responsible for 44,159 points scored. He has already passed Michael Jordan in scoring.

Kobe Bryant still building legacy brick-by-brick

The case against Kobe Bryant officially began with a set of missed field-goal attempts.

The Lakers were eliminated in overtime of Game 5 of the Western Conference semi-finals when Bryant shot an air-ball at the end of regulation, followed by another that would have tied the game in the extra period. He was comforted by his¬† teammate Shaquille O’Neal who encouraged him to keep shooting the ball. It was advice that would ironically contribute to their division years later.

Kobe Bryant hasn’t stopped shooting. He became the NBA’s all-time leader in missed field-goals during the Lakers 102-107 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. As infamous as it sounds, being known as the player who has missed the most shots means you have been around long enough to take them.
It wasn’t a forgone conclusion that Kobe Bryant would miss the most shots in NBA history. He had a mere 176 attempts during the regular season of his rookie year. To put it in perspective,¬†fellow 96 draft class rookie Antoine Walker hoisted away 1,354 attempts for the Boston Celtics. It took Bryant two seasons and change to become the starting shooting-guard for the Lakers after Eddie Jones was traded to the Charlotte Hornets during the 1999 lockout season.

Kobe has been consistently good for so long that the evolution of his game is taken for granted. Unlike LeBron James, Bryant wasn’t given the green-light as a rookie. He even endured DNP’s under coach Del Harris when he was known as “Showtime” because of his flashy play in practice. But Bryant still had to earn minutes behind Eddie Jones and current Head Coach Byron Scott.

And he kept shooting.

He quickly earned the reputation as an introvert by choosing not to be a part of the Hollywood club scene with known playboys like Shaq and Rick Fox. His competitive nature and aggressiveness got around the league quickly, and the elder statesman started laying the wood as a right of passage. It all culminated with a fight with Chris Childs against the New York Knicks during the Lakers 2000 championship run. The nationally televised game between the two most popular teams in the NBA was the graduation of Kobe Bryant into superstar status.

His longevity has masked the fact that he’s played in seven seasons of 70 games or less. It took him five years before he completed an 80 game NBA season.

Bryant hasn’t ceased firing away, continuing to add bricks to the foundation he’s set. He has the chance to join Michael Jordan as the only players to lead the league in scoring at 36-years old. He has displayed that athleticism is still very much a part of his game, and although they won’t admit it, many analyst privately expressed that Bryant would no longer be an all-star after the layoff.

Kobe said he would rather go 0-30 instead of 0-9. He’s missed the most shots because he’s had the drive to make the most.

 

Kurtis Blow on meeting Magic Johnson, and hanging with Michael Jordan

In part one of a three-part interview, music legend Kurtis Blow visits Run The Triangle and shares stories about meeting Magic Johnson, and what he did to Michael Jordan that put a rift in their friendship.