Tag:NBA History
Posted on: January 21, 2011 4:39 pm

Five years ago, Kobe Bryant dropped 81 on Toronto

Posted by Royce Young

Five years ago tomorrow, Kobe Bryant did something amazing. Something only one other player in NBA history has done better. Kobe scored 81 points in one game against the Toronto Raptors.

Eight-one points. I mean, think about that. Last night the Dallas Mavericks scored 77 as a team against the Bulls. The Milwaukee Bucks are only averaging 10 more than that a game this season. Yet Kobe put up 81 stinking points.

Just look at the box score from that night. Kobe was 28-46 from the field, 7-13 from 3, 18-20 from the free throw line and played 42 minutes. Kobe scored 14 in the first, 12 in the second, 27 in the third and 28 in the fourth. That's 55 points after halftime. The Lakers actually trailed by 18 in the third quarter, which ticked off Kobe. So he went off. Eventually the Lakers poured it on, beating the Raptors 122-104.

Michael Jordan's career high was 69 points, and only four players had ever scored more than 70 -- Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor, David Thompson and David Robinson. Kobe's previous career-high was 62 against the Mavericks a month earlier. And he actually sat out the entire fourth quarter of that game.

An even more interesting note from that game? Chris Mihm, Kwame Brown and Smush Parker all started. I think you can kind of understand why Kobe scored 81 now, can't you?

That Laker team was one of the worst over the past decade, struggling to a 45-37 record only behind Kobe's huge scoring binges. That season he scored more than 50 five times. He averaged 35.4 ppg for the season. The closest he's come to duplicating the 81 was when he scored 65 against Portland in 2007.

After the game, Kobe said, "Not even in my dreams. That was something that just happened. It's tough to explain. It's just one of those things.

"It really hasn't, like, set in for me. It's about the `W,' that's why I turned it on. It turned into something special. To sit here and say I grasp what happened, that would be lying."

Five years later, I'm still not sure we can grasp what happened.
Posted on: October 30, 2010 12:06 am
Edited on: October 30, 2010 12:07 am

Rajon Rondo is making some history early on

Posted by Royce Young

Friday night against the New York Knicks, Rajon Rondo scored 10 points. He also grabbed 10 rebounds. And wouldn't you know it, he put up double-digit assists too, notching a triple-double. But this wasn't any triple-double. This was a history-making triple-double.

In Boston's 105-101 over the Knicks, Rondo dished out 24 assists tying the record for most assists ever in a triple-double. (He tied Isiah Thomas whose came in a double-overtime game.) Oh, and on top of that, he also tied the record for most assists after three games in history with 50. Fifty. FIFTY assists. Through three games, Rondo is averaging 16.6 assists per game. That's like good or something.

In Friday's game, here's how his assists lined up: 12 led to baskets at the rim, two to shots 10 feet or closer, one 10-15, five from 16-23 (hello Kevin Garnett pick-and-pop) and four to 3-pointers. Rondo distributed the ball far and wide like a quarterback finding multiple receivers on a big day.

Garnett told reporters after the game, "Sometimes he’ll see something that you don’t see and he’ll make you see it." I think that's a fairly tremendous way of describing a playmaker like Rondo. Similar to a great quarterback throwing a wide receiver open (two football references in one post!). I love that expression.

Rondo is off to a fairly fantastic start with 17 assists in game one, nine in game two and then 24 in the third game. Some are making the case that Rondo might be the best point guard in the league and while that's of course debatable, he's at least worth talking about. Obviously it's fortuitous for Rondo that he happens to be able to dish primarily to Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Garnett, three future Hall of Famers, but Rondo is key in getting them their open looks.

We're just three games in, but Rondo is already putting a historical stamp on this season. He won't keep the pace for the entire 82, but for now, looking at 16.6 apg is pretty fun.
Posted on: August 9, 2010 1:43 pm
Edited on: August 9, 2010 4:18 pm

Shaq will retire with the Celtics

"" Posted by Royce Young

The last stop in Shaqulle O'Neal's historic career will be in Boston. He told the Orlando Sentinel he has no plans to be a 40-year-old plus professional athlete, even joking “Brett Favre only plays 12 games.”

The Celtics are franchise number six for Shaq. He's spent 18 seasons in the NBA and is currently 38 years old, which makes him the oldest active player in the league. He signed a two-year contract with the Celtics.

Shaq made a countdown a few years back while he was in Phoenix counting down to his last days. When he finishes he'll have played 20 seasons in the NBA, which will still put him behind Robert Parish who holds the record with 21 seasons and 1,611 games. If Shaq plays in all 82 for the next two years (which is probably impossible), he'll finish with 1,334.

Currently, Shaq sits about 10,000 points behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the all-time points record and about 3,000 behind Wilt Chamberlain for fourth place. If Shaq were to catch Chamberlain, he'd have to average about 17.5 points per game and play in all 82 games the next two seasons.

Shaq should pass Jerry Lucas and Buck Williams for 13th and 12th place and possibly Hakeem Olajuwon and Wes Unseld for 11th and 10th place in all-time rebounds however. Right now, Shaq has 12,921 rebounds, 21 behind Lucas, 96 behind Williams, 827 behind Olajuwon and 848 behind Unseld. Shaq would need to average 5.2 rebounds a game over the next 164 games to catch Unseld for 10th.

Shaq has been hunting for that one last hurrah the past few years. He knows his limitations and is looking to just find a spot on a roster. He played a role in Cleveland last season fairly well and he says he's willing to do the same in Boston.

“I’m not coming in to take over,” O’Neal told the paper after an Orlando charity basketball game. “At this point in my career I’m just a role player and I’ll do whatever it takes [to win].”
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com