Ho hum. Kobe Bryant scored 50 in the Lakers’ 111-105 defeat of the Hornets last night, and while these half century exploits are becoming old hat, the LA Times’ Mike Bresnahan was on the receiving end of the Zen Master’s latest interesting theory.
“Do you remember there was a suspension about two weeks ago?” Phil Jackson asked. “I think there’s some motivation behind that. I don’t know if we’d like to have that suspension all the time to have to work through, but I think there’s some things there that motivate him in a certain sense. He’s got that kind of passion.”
Bryant was livid when the NBA threw a second one-game suspension at him two weeks ago for striking another player after taking a shot. His tone that day was overcast, his sentences clipped and edgy when talking with reporters.
Fast-forward to Friday at New Orleans Arena, after Bryant’s fourth game in a scoring string that now reads 65-50-60-50.
“The thing that was frustrating for me is that people were talking about me as a dirty player, which to me was pretty insulting,” Bryant said. “That’s something I don’t need to do. From that aspect, to have people talking about something else besides that is a much better feeling.”
He is now only the second player in league history to score 50 or more points in four consecutive games. Chamberlain had five consecutive 50-plus games in 1962, including his famous 100-point game. Chamberlain also had seven consecutive games of 50 or more points, the longest streak in NBA history, in December 1961.
Bryant spoke reverently after Friday’s game, saying he initially associated Chamberlain with an acting role in the 1980s movie “Conan the Destroyer.”
“When I was 6, I just knew him as Bombaata. ¦ I didn’t know him as Wilt Chamberlain,” Bryant said. “Then as I got older, I started understanding what he was all about as a basketball player.”
Even when the Knicks are going into the tank, some credit it due to Isiah Thomas. He might be a lousy businessman and perhaps his pickup lines need some work, but yesterday’s signing of Randolph Morris is at the very least, like finding an additional low first rounder under the seat cushions.
The T-Wolves’ Kevin Garnett sounds vaguely threatening when discussing Gilbert Arenas’ post-game, jersey-stripping celebration after the latter hit a buzzer-beater in DC’s dispatch of Seattle Wednesday evening. From the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Steve Aschburner.
“I probably would have got fined for something,” Garnett said. “That’s pretty insulting. There are just certain standards, man. You can hit shots and, y’know what, ‘I’m good, you’re good, you hit a shot,’ it’s cool. But that’s like T.O. going to the star.”
“I’m not any rootin’, tootin’ bad [guy],” Garnett said. “I don’t think I would be the only one who would address that on this team, if not all 13, 14, 15 of us.”