12.25.05

Vescey Hails Kobe’s 62

Posted in Basketball at 12:48 pm by

The usually hard to impress New York Post’s Peter Vescey puts Kobe Bryant’s 62 point explosion against Dallas Wednesday night into some historical perspective.

Nobody I know who’s been around the pro or college game since the Twelfth of Never can remember a player ever outscoring a team by the end of the third quarter as Kobe Bryant did last Tuesday against the Mavericks.

Not even Wilt, the night he tattooed the Knicks for 100 points, or in any game during the ’61-’62 season when he averaged 50.4 for Philadelphia.

Not Elgin Baylor, when he notched 71 against the Knicks (of course), a Lakers franchise record that got a stay of execution when professionalism reigned supreme for the final quarter against the Mavericks.

Not Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the NBA’s all-time leading scorer or league runner-up Karl Malone; not Michael Jordan, who captured a ludicrous 10 scoring titles, three more than Wilt and six more than George Gervin and Allen Iverson.

Not David Thompson, owner of the second-highest scoring total (73 on the final day of the ’77-’78 season) in league history, for all the good it did him. Gervin beat him out for the title later that evening when he flushed 63.

Not George Mikan. Not Moses Malone. Not Frank Selvy. Not Bevo Francis. Not Bob McAdoo. And not Julius Erving, despite having a boulevard of green lights courtesy of coach Kevin Loughery. I once watched Dr. J. (along with roughly 2,500 others) barbecue the San Diego Conquistadors for 63 points. Only it took him a little more than three quarters to accomplish his feat; the Nets eked out a 175-165 decision in four extra sessions.

Not even Pete Maravich, during his three-year scourge of college when he averaged 44.2 points for LSU , outscored an opponent at the end of three quarters. Though Walt Frazier might’ve thought he did one bleak New Orleans evening in ’77, when I gaped in wonder as Pistol Pete perforated the Knicks’ pin-up defensive guard for 68.

In other words, not a single one of basketball’s all-time official scorers ” high school and below don’t count ” achieved what Kobe did. Consequently, unless someone can produce proof to the contrary, Kobe is hereby recognized as the first earthling to voyage to that unimaginable frontier of enchantment.

One Response to “Vescey Hails Kobe’s 62”

  1. Willie Montgomery says:

    Kobe/Jordan…thoughts:

    It’s been said that MJ made his teammates better, Kobe doesn’t. I disagree with the whole philosophy of “making someone Better”. Did MJ make Brad Sellars, Stacey King, Granville Waiters better? No, he was frustrated in those days, known as a ball-hog who didn’t trust his teammates. He had to wait till better players came on board.

    Steve Kerr and John Paxson came in as shooters and left a shooters. MJ didn’t make them better defenders, rebounders, assist men, etc. or in any way improve their games, (nor did he teach them how to shoot). Horace Grant made the All-Star team for the first time after leaving the bulls. B.J. Armstrong made the All-Star team for the first time after MJ retired.

    Scottie Pippen became 1 of only 2 players ever to lead his team in 4 or 5 categories after MJ retired the first time(Dave Cowens being the other). Dennis Rodman was a champion and great rebounder/scrappy defender before he came to the Bulls. MJ didn’t make Rodman a better outside shooter or add any other skills to Rodman’s game. By the way the Bulls only lost 2 more games after MJ retired the first time. If he was sooo important to their success why only a 2 game swing. The Bulls had a winning formula, period. A bad call caused Pippen to fail to lead them to the finals again, without MJ. One could argue that MJ’s supporting cast made MJ better. They used their previously held talents to get this former ball hog, egomaniac to see that in order to succeed as a team he needed to pass the ball.

    A great player can allow the good shooter open shots by virtue of being double teamed, but those guys would knock down the shot no matter who got them open. Kobe can’t turn Smush Parker into a great shooter like Kerr or Paxson. Kobe can’t turn Kwame Brown into Ben Wallace no more than MJ could turn Stacey King into Dennis Rodman. Kobe can’t turn Chris Mihm into Kevin Garnett no more than MJ could turn Brad Sellars into Horace Grant. The ability has to be already in that player. Right now it’s Kobe, an inconsistent Lamar Odom and a bunch of players that would come off the bench on most good teams. Therefore people don’t view Kobe as a good leader or one who makes his teammates better. Look at the 30 NBA teams. I would say Kobe’s supporting cast, talent wise, is in the bottom 5, yet Kobe has them playing .500 ball and in the play-off race. He deserves much props for that, yet he mostly gets”hate”.

    Some say Kobe is selfish, and MJ wasn’t. What ! Michael Jeffery Jordan was the most, bar none, selfish, egotistical man to ever play in the NBA, period. MJ routinely used his team as a battering ram to bash any player who dared to have a good came against him. No other player is known for that as much as MJ. Kobe is known for sticking a dagger in what ever “team” they are playing at the moment. Sure he wants to perform well against the best of his peers, but he’s not as bad as MJ was in that area. The Bulls won most of those games but that doesn’t take away from the fact that MJ’s performances in those games were “ego” driven. When the Bulls were good they didn’t need Jordan to score 35-50 points, but he did so to make a selfish point. While he was going on his individual rampages he was taking away from his teammates ability to excel. They were deferring to and sacrificing their games to make him look good, he was not making them better. His teammates deserve more credit. Again, they only lost 2 more games after MJ.

    Another erroneous point Kobe Haters try to make is that MJ got his teammates more involved via “assists”, Kobe doesn’t. Wrong. Excluding the years both didn’t play starters minutes(Kobe ‘s first 2, MJ 2nd), Both MJ and Kobe’s career assist averages are about the same. MJ = 5.29, Kobe = 5.17 ! Furthermore an assist is not truly reflective of how many times someone is passing the ball. The other player has to make the shot. Again Kobe doesn’t have Kerr/Paxson or the like to pass it to. Kobe has averaged 5.9 assists in the past which was about right for that team. His 4.4 is about right for this weak team. Kobe is a “shooting guard” not an “assisting guard”.

    The 81 point game:
    Kobe unfairly got “hate” on this also. First of all 46 shots is not a lot to get 81 points, while shooting 60.8%. Scaling it down it’s like someone getting 41 points on 14 of 23 shooting(60.8%). Anyone would say that’s a great offensive game. Kobe basically doubled that output. Down by 18 in the 2nd half, win by 18 ! Are you kidding me, that was a super-great performance!!!! Better than Wilt’s. Kobe did it from the 2 guard spot, from all over the floor, including much tougher long range bombs. To have the skill to do that and the will to make it so is amazing. People criticized Kobe for only having 2 assists. What!!?? You don’t pass the ball when your that hot ! You shoot till you cool off !! He never did. People act like he decided before the game to go out and get 81 points, then went out and stole the ball from his teammates to get it done ! Ridiculous ! They recognized that Kobe was hot and fed him the ball as they should have.

    Finally, Kobe didn’t run Shaq out of town or Phil for that matter. Shaq ran himself out of town by being out of shape, lazy and unmotivated. The Lakers offered him a contract early that year, one they thought was fair for an aging , unmotivated center. Shaq thought it was an insult and began bad mouthing management. The lakers made a business decision, period. Even Phil(long before taking the Laker job again) said Kobe was not responsible for either of them leaving. I’m beginning to think Kobe shot Kennedy, as much as he gets blamed for! Why don’t people get on Shaq ! This clown has never won a rebound or shot blocking title in 13 years !!! Yet he claims to be the “most dominant” and “superman”..please!.

    Shaqclown is the biggest thing ever and this is the worst time period for centers since Mikan, yet he can’t dominate in boards and blocks !!!!! Players much smaller than him beat him out. How many times has “Snackquille led teams” been swept in the playoffs?????!! At least 5 that I know of, maybe 6 !!! You mean his “dominance” couldn’t get at least 1 of those games !!!?? Shaq is overrated !!! Kobe was the vehicle that got the Lakers through the early rounds of the title years. Shaq finals MVP because he finally decided to step up his play. I don’t blame Kobe for wanting to get away from Shaq while he is still young. Kobe was a thoroughbred on a team of Clydesdales. I ‘m glad Kobe’s not wasting his youth waiting for Shaq to get up court. Put Alonzo Mournings heart in Shaq and you got something! Who leads the Heat in Blocks? Not Shaq, it’s Mourning, coming off the bench at that. Shaq is regularly out rebounded by forwards and sometimes guards. Shaq is not the most dominant! His best rebounding year was his 1st(13.9). What’s his signature move…none, he never developed one! Was he out shooting 1000 free throws as Kobe does jumpers(actually making 1000 a day, in the off season? No. I’d take Wilt, Russell, Jabbar, Hakeem, Moses Malone, even Ewing and Mourning in their primes over Shaq! Don’t get me started on Shaq ( jealous of Kobe) O’neal……….too late : )

    Your thoughts ?????

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