GIVE IT UP
Love the non-love for Kobe.
Even with a brilliant, see-ya-later effort to end his NBA career, the negatives are non-stop, on the personal front, which, sorry, don’t give a rat’s ass about when it comes to judging a basketball player’s performance on the court, to his actual performance on the court.
Really, you got an issue with what he did Tuesday night … with any of it?
Yep, took 50 shots. Sure did. He also made 22 – which comes to a 44 percent shooting percentage.
Considering he’s a lifetime 44.7 guy, seems pretty reasonable … and considering he’s a broken-down old man by NBA standards, at age 37 with bum wheels and a bad shoulder, seems pretty incredible.
You know, take away his 6-for-21 from behind the arc and you’re looking at a 16-for-29 shooting effort in the game. Pretty good. You’re also looking at a 42-point game and a Lakers loss, but we digress …
Did you know Kobe scored 17 straight Lakers points down the stretch, rallying them from a 10-point deficit to grab a 99-96 lead and then delivered a seal-the-deal, length-of-the-court dish to finalize the victory? Did you know he made his final nine shots in the last 2:15 – four from the line and five from the field, including one from distance (that’s 15 points in 135 seconds for the mathematically challenged out there)? Did you know he had four assists, too, on a night his teammates told him not to pass?
Did you know your hero, Michael Jordan, totaled 15 points in his NBA finale?
Yo, enough already. Just give it up for Kobe. The guy was great and had an exit for the ages.
REMEMBER WHEN ...
All this talk about Kobe Bryant going off for 60 points (and Steph Curry popping in 46 to key Golden State’s record-setting 73rd regular-season victory) Tuesday night has me harkening back a few decades to recall, well, the greatest night for individual offensive achievement in NBA history.
It was April 9, 1978.
The incomparable, high-flying David Thompson, my favorite all-time NBA player, netted 73 points for the Denver Nuggets in one game … but lost the league’s scoring title for the season as the super-cool, finger-rolling George Gervin racked up 63 for the San Antonio Spurs in another to eke out the crown by a .07 points per-game average.
Funny thing is, both efforts resulted in losses for their teams. The individual “win,” though, started a four scoring titles in five years run for Gervin. Meanwhile, Thompson never led the league in that department despite being one of its most electric players the better part of a decade.
On that night the two have been forever linked, Thompson shot 13-for-14 in the first quarter to set an NBA record and 20-for-23 in the first half en route to tallying 53 points by intermission. His 32 first-quarter points were surpassed by Gervin’s NBA record-setting 33 second-quarter ones. Gervin, too, had 53 points at halftime, and – get this – didn’t even play in the fourth quarter once he had secured the scoring title in the third.