Around the World (Wide Web): Kobe’s Future, Shaq, Passing Up Wilt, Steve Blake

Ryan Cole —  April 1, 2013

From Zach Harper, CBS Sports: Only three players in NBA history have scored more points than Kobe Bryant. Other than Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone and Michael Jordan, Bryant has outscored thousands and thousands of players who have laced up sneakers and put on a jersey in the NBA. We know Kobe is going to pass Michael Jordan’s career total. But if he’s going to approach Karl Malone’s career total and take a stab at becoming the all-time leading scorer in the NBA by passing Kareem, he’s going to have to play beyond his current contract that is up in the summer of 2014. And Kobe’s decision on playing beyond his current contract, when he’ll be 36 years old and 18 seasons deep into his NBA career, is something that he’ll be prepared to make this summer.

From Ben R, Silver Screen & Roll: Don’t lie: you all thought that the Lakers were done after the first quarter. Their offensive flow wasn’t bad, but they couldn’t stop theKings in any aspect whatsoever on defense, an unsurprising development considering that the Lakers’ best perimeter defender in Metta World Peace was absent. The Kings, usually a doormat in the conference, had the league’s best offense since the All-Star break, and the Lakers were in no position to do much to deter that attack. Without MWP, the Lakers have precisely one plus defender in Dwight Howard and a defensive lineup typified by apathy (Kobe Bryant), a lack of size (Jodie Meeks), and limited mobility (Pau Gasol). And even Dwight, after showing that he had been on an upward trend in his recovery from back surgery, was not yet at the dominant level he displayed in Orlando to avert…whoops.

From Kevin Ding, OC Register: This bone spur in Kobe Bryant’s left foot? He has had it for years. Years. He has played through it for years without publicizing it and the challenges it has prompted him to overcome. Think about that the next time anyone says Bryant’s toughness, focus or drive for greatness is overdramatized. Whether Bryant now chooses to detail the specifics of the bone spur, it’s incredibly appropriate that on his latest historic night – passing Wilt Chamberlain for No. 4 on the NBA all-time scoring list Saturday in Sacramento – he played all but 22.6 seconds of the game just two days after the bone spur prompted a wheelchair to be requested for him to leave Milwaukee’s Bradley Center. (He didn’t use it.) Bryant could still have offseason surgery to remove the spur, but bear in mind this is the guy who never did have surgery on that mangled right pinky finger in 2008 or that arthritic right index finger in 2010. He figures out a way around it and goes to the ends of the earth to analyze the best course of treatment with the least time on the court lost – so he can maximize his job performance (and championship odds). This is all a roundabout way to get to the Lakers’ next man of the hour: Shaquille O’Neal, who will be rightly honored Tuesday night at Staples Center with the retirement of his No. 34 Lakers jersey.

From Dave McMenamin, ESPN LA: Move over Big Dipper. Make way for the Black Mamba. Kobe Bryant moved into fourth place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list in the Los Angeles Lakers’ game against the Sacramento Kings, passing Wilt Chamberlain. Bryant’s pull-up jumper from the foul line with 7:55 remaining in the second quarter gave Bryant 31,421 points for his career, edging past Chamberlain’s 31,419 total. ”What a journey,” Bryant said after scoring 19 points and handing out 14 assists, one shy of his career high, in the Lakers’ 103-98 win over the Kings. “It’s been a very, very long journey. I’m certainly extremely appreciative of all the support and the Laker faithful, the ‘Laker Nation,’ from being a 17-year-old kid to a 34-year-old man and all the support they’ve given me throughout my career.”

From Mike Bresnahan, LA Times: Lakers fans were well aware that Steve Nash missed a ton of time when the season began. And Pau Gasol was sidelined by a variety of injuries. And more recently, Metta World Peace wouldn’t be back until the Western Conference semifinals, as if the Lakers — or their followers — were thinking that far ahead. But Coach Mike D’Antoni often points out the least-analyzed injury of the Lakers’ season — Steve Blake missing 37 games because of abdominal surgery and subsequent groin soreness. Blake just completed his best month in three seasons with the Lakers, and he’ll be counted on for more production as Nash struggles with hamstring and hip soreness.

Ryan Cole

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11 responses to Around the World (Wide Web): Kobe’s Future, Shaq, Passing Up Wilt, Steve Blake

  1. 2000-2002 Lakeshow Championship, Thank you Shaq.

    Mutombo, Davis brothers, Geiger, Macculoch, A.Williams, KMart.

    Dominance against those big men in the Finals…

    Jersey #34, to the rafters of Staples Center…

  2. Rusty Shackleford April 1, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    In light of Kevin Ding’s article – what is the worst injury Lebron James had had to play though in his career so far? He’s a big man but all those shots at the rim and the contact he’s taking are going to wear him down eventually. #bitterLakerfan

  3. Lakers beat Kings because of Steve Blake. Thomas killed by Nash in the last meeting and had been averaging 25 a game the last ,3 games. Add to that Blake making 5 3 pointers and having only 1 turnover as opposed to the ,4 a game Nash had been committing and it’s clear to see that Blake at this point of the season is a better option then Nash.

    Only hope the coach reads stats and excepts that his son Nash is at
    best a 25 minute a game guy at his age.

  4. Stats uber alles.

    Can’t we put a moratorium on quoting stats in this blog. They seem to just be a way for bloggers to flog any player they desire. Again, with feeling – stats are useful to flesh out what we see and provide an ability to tell us places to look that we hadn’t previously thought to look. They do not definitively prove anything – or rather they can prove everything, including contradictory statements and facts.

    You actually have to watch the games to understand the team.

  5. Unless you claim to watch all 30 teams and their players objectively, stats must be respected although always taken with a grain of salt. I am mesmerized by Kobe, but often find that there are other players in the league who have equally mesmerizing talents although I appreciate Kobe’s more.

    As for LeBron, he is being smart about how he plays and I don’t think he plays in a way that is conducive to big injuries, especially since he is just as big as most centers in this league and players are often busy getting out of the way. It really looks as if he’s going to make a serious case to be considered for GOAT if he can keep this up for about three years and the NBA doesn’t get really serious about testing for PED’s (of course even if they do, it’s very likely that nobody gets caught considering they all played in the Olympics).

  6. In the meantime, Utah wins…

  7. the jazz’s are on a roll now.
    if we lose tomorrow, that could spell doom.

  8. A big thanks to Shaq who will receive one of the top individual honors a player can get in a team sport. During a period in your career you were simply the best player in the game and was the driving force in three Laker championships. The fact that they were three in a row, just awesome for a Laker fan. Welcome #34 to the Laker rafters.

  9. It’s good to see Kobe doing his thing, but I still do not think he is the greatest Laker (that would be Magic Johnson). Besides, he was the second banana when he was winning titles with Shaq.

  10. Man o’ Man… Shaquille O’Neal. I remember that first dunk on a feed from Nick the Quick. He just came in and transformed the team as much as it could be with Del Harris deciding the only discipline he needed to exercise on his team was in keeping Kobe Bryant working from the bench for two seasons. The highlights of 34 in Lakers Blue and Gold will be up on the screen during the ceremony. He belongs there and up in the rafters with Mikan, Wilt and Kareem. I can’t wait for the chills and the laughs. I don’t care what colors he started in. I don’t care what colors he finished in. The substance of his career was with us and for us. 3 chips, thousands of dunks, thousands of rebounds, thousands of dunks. How many deterred shots? How many altered? How many drives to the paint just roadblocked by the Big Hip-Checker? How many laughs by the Big Roaster? How many insights by the Big Aristotle (self-interested insights but still)? How many minutes will we be standing, clapping, cheering and thanking the big man? Really, how many years?

  11. John Hairiston,

    I’m not trying to win an argument. I don’t know who is the greatest Laker. I don’t think it’s important. Just want to note that the first few titles with Magic he was second banana to Cap and has said so multiple times. If you are trying to make that argument, that is the counter to it.