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Congrats, Kobe! You’re getting there! PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, December 06, 2012 4:29 PM

So, Kobe Bryant became the fifth member of the 30,000-point in the National Basketball Association Wednesday night.
He joins top scorer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387 in 1,560 games), Karl “The Mailman” Malone (36,928; 1,476), Michael Jordan (32,292; 1,072) and Wilt Chamberlain (31,419; 1,045) as the only guys to do so.

These numbers don’t count the playoffs, either.

He is also the youngest at 34 to get to this hallowed mark but has been a pro since he was 18 and has taken 1,180 games to do so.
Kevin Garnett is the next-closest at 24,553 but he is 36 — though remains a remarkable physical specimen at his age and “mileage” because he, too, turned pro at 18; Dirk Nowitzki is at 24,134. Dirk may get there because he is 34 but he has been injured all year and would need to play about three more years and more.

I remember when Wilt the Stilt’s mark was almost impregnable, especially since he averaged 50 points a game by himself one year.
I don’t think anyone will surpass “The Sky Hook” unless they can play 25 years — he played 20!

None other than Earvin “Magic” Johnson has called Kobe the Greatest Laker!”

I don’t think I will follow that line when you consider all the Laker greats that have gone before but I will write that what he has done in today’s game is very special.

When Wilt played, it was up-tempo every game; 120 shots per game per team was not out of the ordinary. What is the average now — perhaps 90 at most with a point guard like Steve Nash at the controls? That is a major difference.

Remember, Wilt averaged 22.9 rebounds a game in a 14-year career and Bill Russell was right up there, along with other legends. Now, the leading rebounder is around 15 a game.

Two, while Wilt and others were pretty physical — he did play at 7 feet, 300 pounds — it is beyond physical these days.
You have bigger, faster, stronger men all around and the court has not grown an inch, so there is less room to operate.

You look at Abdul-Jabbar and he had his personal assist man, Magic; he would several times a game make sure he got the ball to The Captain for a bucket. He also had Showtime with Magic, James Worthy, Jamaal Wilkes, Norm Nixon, etc., when they played the game more like it used to be with the fast break.

Malone had his personal “assist”ant in John Stockton who fed him on the break many times.

Jordan didn’t have anyone such as these two, nor was the game up-tempo like in days gone past.

Kobe is in the same category.

Not that they didn’t have great players alongside them but they didn’t have the relationships Magic had with Kareem and Stockton to Malone.

One wonders how many points these guys would have scored had the game not slowed down in the late 1980s from the Wilt-Walt Frazier-Showtime era!

Maybe Magic is onto something!

It’s almost a foregone conclusion that Kobe will pass Wilt and his childhood idol, Michael, in the next two years.

I think after that, if he is still around, I don’t see him physically capable of getting past the Mailman.

Still, as I have always written, it is difficult to really compare eras in any sports, especially the entirely difference game that the NBA has become from its former self. Plus, I think the NBA has become more star-driven and is more of an individual game when compared to some of the great TEAMS of yesteryear. These individuals realize they don’t become champions until they become teams!
Now, we just don’t need an NBA team nicknamed the Pelicans!!

Are you like me with regard to the murder-suicide of Kansas City Chief linebacker Javon Belcher and his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins — you really want to know why?

We have had a discussion in the news room — we really do have such events going on from time to time! — about what this could mean.

What if the autopsy finds, for example, brain damage from concussions and/or the simple wear and tear of the game he played for over a decade?

Could we have a Chris Benoit deal here, that repeated concussions suffered in “the line of duty” finally took their toll?
What if — perish the thought — they find evidence of steroid/PED abuse?

Or even the more horrific thought — too vile to believe — that he simply and freely killed his girlfriend (for whatever reason that I leave to your imagination, dear readers!), leaving the daughter he loved without a mom, and then possibly suffered remorse and turned the gun on himself?

I wonder if all the people that sat helplessly by and watched these proceedings unfold are still having nightmares? I probably would.

 

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