Tag Archives: Toronto Raptors

For Kobe 31 Is The New 81

Kobe Bryant can get hot still. He scored 31 points in a vintage performance to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a 108-104 victory over the Washington Wizards.

The rumors of his demise have been greatly circulated. The declaration that he his playing in his final season lit social-media on fire, and before it ends he’ll probably start another trend.

After shooting 1-14 against the Golden State Warriors from the field, there were lamentations for Bryant to immediately call it quits. He was embarrassing himself. It was over.

But dead men don’t make go-ahead buckets to get road wins on the second night of a back-to-back. For one night Bryant was resurrected.

If it were as bad as the experts claimed, then his 31 point outburst is right up there with the game in which he scored 50 more than that against the Toronto Raptors. Five years before that he scored 61 in three quarters against the Dallas Mavericks. Everyone knew that Kobe was capable of the unbelievable. But this Kobe, the wounded warrior with nothing left to give basketball, nobody is expecting the spectacular.

Like Wilt Chaimberlin’s 100, Kobe should have drawn 31 on sheet of paper and taken a photograph. No player at 37-years old has returned from achilles surgery to score 31 and make a game-winning shot. Bryant’s heroics are that of legend, I guess you can say a new one just begun.

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.

NBA’s Game Plan Is Straight Outta Compton

It wasn’t just the numerous Campbell’s Chunky Soup commercials featuring NFL champion, All-Pro, and Stanford graduate Richard Sherman. You have to also credit the return of Tyson Chandler to the Dallas Mavericks, restoring their title hopes.

He may have only been dressed in civvies, but Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard was very much a part of the conversation regarding the San Antonio Spurs after reports that he wants a maximum contract. After playing noteworthy defense against LeBron James on his way to winning a championship and getting a personal design logo for his Jordan brand shoes, Leonard has the leverage to demand to be paid as a star.

Just in time for F. Gary Gray’s upcoming biographic on the trendsetting rap group N.W.A., the City of Compton is experiencing a renaissance through its native sons.

James Harden of Compton returned to Los Angeles ranked as the top shooting guard in the NBA to play against Kobe Bryant and in his triumphant return to the Staples Center. Harden’s response? 32 points on 17 shots and 15 made free-throws, a game high in front of the dozens of family and friends in attendance.

And who did the NBA call to provide the OFFICIAL anthem of the 2014-2015 season? Compton emcee Kendrick Lamar and his track “i.”

From Arron Afflalo of the Denver Nuggets to the Toronto Raptors All-Star DeMar DeRozan, Compton’s boys from the hood have collectively led the mainstream back to the C.P.T.