Tag:Kobe Bryant
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: January 20, 2011 6:35 pm
Edited on: January 20, 2011 6:43 pm
 

Kobe Bryant: Booing Carmelo Anthony is 'stupid'

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant says it's "stupid" for Denver fans to boo Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony. Posted by Ben Golliver. 
bryant-anthony2

Normally when a team convincingly beats a playoff-bound division rival at home and its franchise player leads the way with 35 points, seven rebounds, one assist three steals and a block, that's cause for fans to celebrate.

Not so in Denver, where All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony led the Nuggets past the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night and was showered with boos by the Pepsi Center crowd. Of course, Anthony's big night came on the same day that trade talks centered around moving him to the New Jersey Nets fell apart publicly.

At least one prominent NBA citizen has taken issue with Nuggets' fans treatment of Anthony. That would be Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, according to NBA Fanhouse.
"That's stupid,'' star guard Kobe Bryant said in speaking with FanHouse and the Denver Post after the Lakers practiced Thursday at the Pepsi Center in preparation for Friday's game against Denver. "That's not very smart.''
"Put yourself in his shoes,'' Bryant said. "If you're teeter-tottering about going somewhere, he'd be more inclined to go to another place where they're going to cheer you instead of boo you.'' 

"I don't think it helps,'' Bryant said of the boos. "Obviously, it's hard to trade him. It's hard. So maybe he won't be traded. Who the hell knows? But you got to show support for him. He's still playing hard. ... Either you ride with him or you don't.''
With all due respect to Bryant, Nuggets fans aren't stupid. Months of trade rumors, a recent public statement from Anthony that his "ultimate dream" is to play in New York City, other comments Anthony has made about playing for a team closer to his family, and -- most obviously -- the lack of a contract extension or any direct or indirect public statements that he plans to stay in Denver -- have understandably left Nuggets fans a bit testy. 

Of course, this isn't just some isolated, random angst unique to Denver. Nuggets fans can look around the league -- specifically at the Toronto Raptors and Cleveland Cavaliers -- and get a glimpse at what the future of their franchise will be like without Anthony. Obviously, it's not a pretty picture, and Anthony would take the blame for the perception of future struggles in any NBA market and from any NBA fanbase that was put in Denver's situation.

Anthony's approach to the Nuggets franchise and their fans has essentially been the old Seinfeld breakup routine, "It's not you. It's me." He's tried very hard to remain professional in how he presents his long-term desires. That soft approach can only do so much to cushion the anger and disappointment that comes with an inevitable breakup. 

One thing that no one can do here -- not even a star like Bryant -- is fault Denver Nuggets fans for their passion and pain.
Posted on: January 20, 2011 3:45 pm
Edited on: January 20, 2011 3:53 pm
 

Phil Jackson talks media mind games, Miami Heat

Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson explains the mind games he plays in the media. Posted by Ben Golliver. phil-jackson

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Phil Jackson -- the so-called "Zenmaster" -- has been in fine form this season, throwing barbs at his players, opposing coaches and an opposing executive or two even more often than usual. His hitlist so far includes: Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra (here), Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy (here), the NBA and its ownership takeover of the New Orleans Hornets (here), Kobe Bryant (here), former Houston Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich (here) and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban (here). Also, Jackson railed against the NBA playing games on Christmas.

All the one-liners and trash talk, Jackson admitted in an interview transcribed by SportsRadioInterviews.com, are part of a calculated plan to "encourage" the Lakers.
“There is the idea that you can encourage the team through public statements. ... I do sometimes say the most honest thing. … I’ll be very blunt and make a statement that is as true as I can make it. … I think that the press is there for your service as a coach and there’s a message there you can get across.”
In that same vein, Jackson predicted Thursday on LA's 710 AM that the Miami Heat were no match for the Boston Celtics, in comments transcribed by ESPNLA.com.
"I personally don't think they can get by Boston," Jackson said. "I think Boston is too good a team. I think a team is still going to win. "But there's a chance that [the Heat] ... can maybe round themselves into a team by that time and [win].
"Boston is older and they have to go through the rest of the schedule without having some kind of breakdown of players. [Ray] Allen and [Kendrick] Perkins, etc., they are just really a good team.
"But there's nothing like the great athletic skill and dynamism that [James and Wade] have and [Chris] Bosh is a terrific player in his own right. There's no doubt about their individual skills."
The anti-Heat slights fit Jackson's self-described plan for his public statements in multiple ways. As Jackson mentioned, he tries to be brutally honest. Many share his assessment of the Heat and Celtics. Surely, the biggest question mark for Miami this season is whether they can put it together for an extended run in the playoffs given how dependent they are on the Big 3. He's playing on Miami's biggest insecurity, planting or sprinkling water on seeds of doubt.

And, by focusing on Boston's experience and depth, Jackson indirectly a message to his team, which is also experienced and deep, reminding them that those are the qualities that win playoff games. The biggest question for the Lakers always boils down to teamwork and chemistry. Jackson needs his stars, especially Bryant, to forsake some of their individual accomplishments for the good of the team. By slighting the Heat for having that same problem, he encourages the Lakers towards team play and holds them up to the Celtics standard, which is surely fuel for the fire. 

As the playoffs inch closer and the back-and-forth between the contenders ramps up, keep in mind that Jackson is simply following his time-tested playbook for motivational success. The only way to shut him up, of course, is to beat his Lakers.
Posted on: January 17, 2011 10:25 am
 

Kobe is going to be in a Robert Rodriguez 'movie'

Posted by Royce Young

It's being called a movie, but it's really more of a longer, more creative shoe advertisement. At least that's what I'm thinking it is.

Via the OC Register, Kobe Bryant has filmed a movie in which he acts in it. (So no, this isn't a sequel to Kobe Doin' Work.) A real director is filming (Robert Rodriguez of Spy Kids , Planet Terror and Sin City fame.)

The movie, as it's being called, will be released during All-Star weekend. I don't if know if "released" means in a theater where you buy a ticket, but I assume it means that the full version will be posted on the Internet.

But this is no Kazaam. Kobe's movie is all being done as a promotion for the Zoom Kobe VI shoe and Bryant’s new “True Colors” apparel line. It's being billed like this: “The world’s best basketball player. … Biggest challenge yet. … Kobe Bryant is the Black Mamba. … A Robert Rodriguez film.”

Of course this isn't Kobe's first adventure into acting. He appeared in Call of Duty's new commercial for Black Ops recently sporting a huge grenane-launching gun. As for this film, I would assume it's just going to be a super long commercial and not actually a two-hour full-length feature film. Please don't let it be a full-length feature film.

Category: NBA
Posted on: January 13, 2011 2:00 pm
Edited on: January 13, 2011 5:15 pm
 

NBA's top scorers: Who is most consistent?

An analysis of the NBA's top 20 scorers, with a look at which players are the most consistent. Posted by Ben Golliver. kevin-durant-score

Scoring in volume has long been appreciated in the NBA. Wilt Chamberlain's 100 points; Kobe Bryant's 81; Michael Jordan's 63 points in the playoffs against the Celtics. Each of these scoring outbursts and countless others are front and center in NBA lore.

In recent years, scoring efficiently has been all the rage, with emphasis placed on players that shoot well from the field, get to the free throw line and don't require tons of shots to get their points. Players like Carmelo Anthony and Monta Ellis have drawn some criticism for their (relatively) inefficient chucking, while Chris Paul, LeBron James and Dwight Howard have received praise for their overall offensive efficiency.

But one critical aspect of scoring has been generally overlooked: consistency. Basketball coaches at every level are endlessly frustrated by players that don't bring it every night, and the NBA is no exception. Even among the NBA's elite scorers there can be a vast inconsistency in their output from night to night. 

Case in point: Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade, currently the NBA's No. 6 scorer at 25.1 points per game, scored 17 points, 11 points and 3 points in a three-game stretch in November. A little more than a month later, Wade exploded for 40 points, 45 points and 25 points in a different three-game stretch. In all six games, Wade played at least 36 minutes and took at least 13 shots. Imagine how difficult those inconsistent results are for Miami Heat coach Eric Spoelstra to plan around.

Keep in mind: Wade is one of the league's most consistent and voluminous scorers, and he would never be able to average 25 points per game if he wasn't. The inconsistency headaches for coaches only increase as you move down the depth chart or into a team's bench. Of course, there are plenty of reasons to explain scoring inconsistency: specific defensive match-ups, an opponent's defensive gameplan, nagging injuries, streaky shooting, foul trouble, the list goes on and on. 

With that said, some players are going to be more consistent than others. And that consistency would seem to be valued by coaches. So let's ask and answer an interesting question: Of the league's top scorers, who truly represents the cream of the crop? Who brings it the most consistently on a night-in, night-out basis?
Let's take a look.

Scoring Consistency

Perhaps the cleanest way to calculate a player's scoring consistency is to use his game log to calculate his average scoring variance. This reflects how far from his scoring average he is on any give night. This sounds complicated, but it's really not. 

For example, let's say I average 30 points. My two scoring totals were 20 points and 40 points. The average difference from each of those points to the average (40 minus 30 and 30 minus 20) is 10. Now, let's say I average 30 points but I scored 31 points one night and 29 points the next. The average difference between those points and the average (31-30 and 30-29) is 1. Obviously, I would be scoring more consistently in the second example, when my average variance is 1, rather than the first example, when my average variance is 10.

To further emphasize consistency, simply divide that average variance by the player's points per game. This gives a percentage between 0% and 100%. 0% is perfectly consistent, while 100% is completely inconsistent. In the first example, my percentage would be 33% (10/30). In the second example, my percentage would be 3.3% (1/30). We'll refer to that percentage as a player's Shake. The lower the Shake, the more consistent the player's scoring.

When you analyze the league's top scorers or No. 1 scoring options, almost all of them fall between 20% and 30% on this Shake scale. In other words, they won't always produce totally consistently, but they will produce within a fairly narrow range.  If you move to reserve players, that number usually falls to 40% to 50%, a reflection of changing minutes and a generally lower talent level. If you move to the deep, deep bench players, a 60%+ isn't totally uncommon. 


The League's Best Scorers, By Consistency

In this analysis, Shake was calculated for each of the NBA's top 20 scorers in games played through Tuesday, Jan. 12. 

When we look at a scatterplot of the league's elite scorers in terms of their consistency, a few interesting pieces jump out. (Click here for the full-size version .) On this chart, the X-axis refers to points per game. The further to the right you go, the more a player scorers. The Y-axis represents scoring consistency: the lower you go, the more consistent a player is, the higher you go, the more inconsistent a player is. The best place to be on this chart is the lower right hand corner and its vicinity. Conversely, the worst place to be on this chart is the upper left hand corner and its vicinity.

shake-vs-ppg

First, Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant is absolutely in a class by himself. He's the league's best scorer, in terms of both volume and consistency, by leaps and bounds. Last year, Durant made headlines for his insane streak of 25+ points in a game and his consistency is off the charts again this year. His rating (13.68%) blows away the next closest player, the Los Angeles Clippers' Eric Gordon (20.4%).

Gordon is probably the biggest surprise in the top 20, as he's the league's No. 10 scorer but it's No. 2 most consistent scorer. Both Gordon and Durant succeed at an often-overlooked aspect of the game: getting to and converting from the free throw line. Whether Gordon will be able to maintain this scoring consistency through the rest of the season is an open question, but Durant is a shoo-in to retain his crown as the league's most consistent scorer.

Also interesting: compare LeBron James and Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat. Both players score virtually the same number of points (James averages 25.4 points while Wade averages 25.1 points) but they do so with a meaningfully different amount of consistency (James is at 21.9% while Wade is at 28.3%). James' consistency is super-elite while Wade's is merely very, very, very good. If you're looking to make the case that James is now the alpha dog in Miami, these numbers help support that. Regardless of whether Wade is hot or cold, James is getting his numbers. It's worth noting that Wade did start the season slowly and his consistency may improve as the season continues. 

Next, you'll see that players who have drawn the "inefficient volume shooter" label, guys like Carmelo Anthony and Monta Ellis, don't fare so well when it comes to consistency. This shouldn't come as a surprise, as the 3-17 nights that draw their fans' ire will obviously increase their inconsistency rating. But, Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, who is often criticized for calling his own number and breaking out of his team's offense, rates as the league's No. 3 most consistent scorer. It's an especially impressive achievement at 32 years old, as Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki is the only other player in the top 10 for consistency that's over 30 years of age. 

Finally, as if you needed another reason to drool over Los Angeles Clippers rookie forward Blake Griffin, here you go. As the only rookie in the league's top 20 in scoring, Griffin also finds himself as the 13th most consistent player in the group (26.3%). In other words, he's coming by all those points honestly, and he's doing it on a night-in, night-out basis like few rookies in the recent past. It's possible that in a few years, should his 60% free throw shooting improve dramatically, Griffin could move into the league's top five most consistent scorers.

Full Rankings

In case you're interested, here are the full rankings for the top 20 NBA scorers in terms of their consistency.

shake-table


Posted on: January 13, 2011 1:32 pm
 

Rose jumps Rondo in fourth All-Star returns

Posted by Royce Young

New All-Star returns are in again and this time there's some actual movement. Derrick Rose has passed Rajon Rondo and is now second in Eastern guards behind Dwyane Wade and Amar're Stoudemire has ovetaken Kevin Garnett at forward in the East.

Rose leads Rondo by about 50,000 votes and Stoudemire now leads Garnett by more than 100,000, which is kind of incredible. Somebody must of done some votin'.

Dwight Howard still tops the Eastern Conference in total votes.

No real change in the West as Kobe Bryant still leads everyone, with Kevin Durant trailing. Blake Griffin has actually gained some ground, now trailing Carmelo Anthony for second place at forward by a little over 250,000 votes. And as we saw with the others, there's always the chance that someone is going to stuff the ballot box. Pau Gasol is also ahead of Griffin by 150,000 votes. So if Carmelo is traded and heads East, it'll be a race between Griffin and Gasol for that starting 4 spot.

Other than that, more of the same. Right now the starters in each conference:

EAST
G: Derrick Rose
G: Dwyane Wade
F: LeBron James
F: Amar'e Stoudemire
C: Dwight Howard

WEST
G: Chris Paul
G: Kobe Bryant
F: Carmelo Anthony
F: Kevin Durant
C: Andrew Bynum (top vote getter Yao Ming is injured)

Starters will be announced live on TNT on Jan. 27.
Posted on: January 12, 2011 4:43 pm
Edited on: January 12, 2011 5:05 pm
 

Cavs' golden voice announcer entering rehab

Ted Williams, the Cleveland Cavaliers' formerly homeless golden voice radio announcer made famous recently, is reportedly entering rehab after beingted-williams detained by the Los Angeles Police Department earlier this week. Posted by Ben Golliver. 

On Tuesday, we noted that Ted Williams, the formerly homeless man with a great radio voice who was given a job and a house by the Cleveland Cavaliers, was detained by the Los Angeles Police Department following an argument with his daughter. 

Multiple media outlets are reporting on Wednesday that Williams, who has a lengthy criminal record and has admitted to battling drug and alcohol problems in the past, will be checking into rehab, just one week after becoming an internet sensation.

USAToday.com reports the details.
Ted Williams, the homeless man with the golden voice whose viral YouTube video turned him in an overnight sensation, is entering rehab for drug and alcohol addiction, according to the Dr Phil Show.
Williams agreed to enter the private facility following a one-on-one interview with the show's star that will air tomorrow on the syndicated show.
TMZ.com reports the same.
Williams made the decision during a taping for the "Dr. Phil Show" today -- two days after the LAPD detained him over a verbal altercation with his daughter at a Hollywood hotel.
According to a press release for the show, Ted "has been drinking daily, despite his adamant claims of sobriety."
While in Los Angeles this weekend, Williams attended the Los Angeles Lakers' shootaround and was even filmed meeting Lakers star Kobe Bryant

No word yet on whether the Cavaliers will continue their relationship with Williams. 

The Cavaliers lost to the Lakers in historic fashion on Tuesday night, 112-57.
Posted on: January 11, 2011 11:58 am
Edited on: January 11, 2011 12:34 pm
 

Cavs' golden voice announcer detained by LAPD

Ted Williams, the Cleveland Cavaliers' formerly homeless golden voice radio announcer made famous recently, was reportedly detained by the Los Angeles Police Departmentted-williams on Monday night. Posted by Ben Golliver.

Less than one week ago, we noted a truly heartwarming tale: the Cleveland Cavaliers offered Ted Williams, a homeless man with a great radio voice found panhandling on the side of the road, a supplementary public address job and a house. 

The good vibes lasted for about six days, as multiple outlets are reporting that Williams was detained by the Los Angeles Police Department on Monday night. TMZ has the details.  
Ted Williams -- the homeless man with the golden voice -- was detained by LAPD last night after getting into a shouting match with one of his daughters.
It went down at the Renaissance Hotel in Hollywood -- where Ted and his daughter got into it so loudly ... a hotel employee called the cops. 
Ted and his daughter were both taken to the Hollywood station, but neither Ted nor his daughter wanted to press charges so both were released.
KTLA.com also has the news.

The Cavaliers are in Los Angeles to play the Lakers on Tuesday night. According to the LA Times, Williams attended Lakers practice on Monday. Here's video of Williams meeting Lakers star Kobe Bryant



The paper also noted that Williams was scheduled to be featured on Entertainment Tonight on Tuesday.  Talk about a busy 24 hours.

Earlier this week, TheSmokingGun.com uncovered Williams' lengthy criminal record and CBSSports.com's NFL Facts and Rumors team posted many of his mugshots.

Mo' Money. Mo' Problems.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com