Sunday , Dec , 23 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Kobe Bryant Breaks Wilt’s Record, LA Lakers-NY Knicks Show Right & Wrong of NBA

On Sunday, Bryant notched 39 points to pass Wilt Chamberlain as the youngest player to hit the 20,000 mark. Even though a historic record was broken, the Lakers 95-90 win portrayed what’s right and wrong with the NBA. Below is a recap of a weird game …

Kobe Bryant Breaks Wilt's Record, LA Lakers-NY Knicks Show Right & Wrong of NBAIt was a bizarre way for Kobe Bryant to break a record. Then again, Madison Square Garden and the New York Knicks have become The Twilight Zone, where little makes sense and fans expect the unexpected.

On Sunday, Bryant notched 39 points to pass Wilt Chamberlain as the youngest player to hit the 20,000 mark. Even though a historic record was broken, the Lakers 95-90 win portrayed what’s right and wrong with the NBA. Below is a recap of a weird game.

Mostly right, a little wrong …

Let’s start with Mamba, who was at his polarizing best on this wacky afternoon. Sure, he posted impressive numbers, dropping 39 points, 11 rebounds, and 8 assists.

But the second-half regressed into the Kobe-in-New York show. The all-world guard took some questionable three-pointers as part of his personal trash-talking session with super-fan Spike Lee.

Only one other Laker, Andrew Bynum, hit double-figures, so the offense clearly regressed into find Kobe. Bryant’s not to blame, though; his teammates stood around watching him and the game felt like a sloppy, summer pick-up run.

The purple-and-gold must stick to their collectivist, ball-sharing ways to stay competitive out west. Bryant, love him or hate him, deserves praise for such an accomplishment. I only wish the record could have been part of a more significant and meaningful contest.

Half right, half wrong …

Jamal Crawford is from Seattle and each summer the lanky guard heads to Vancouver for the Dolphin run. I’ve watched him ball twice in this pickup tourney. Even in summer, you can tell he’s a hot-and-cold, streak shooter.

Sunday was a perfect example of Crawford coming down with a case of Byron Scott disease. He went 0-for-7 in the first half, then 11-for-18 after the break to finish with 31 points.

But the eight year pro is averaging a career best 18.4 points and deserves praise for staying professional in such a chaotic atmosphere.

All wrong …

New York, the Mecca of basketball, has been tarnished by Isiah Thomas and James Dolan’s reign of terror. The Knicks and MSG used to stand for something special; fans used  to reminisce on all the great moments in such a historic building …

Unfortunately, Thomas and Dolan are destroying this great legacy.  Against the Lakers, New York’s die-hard faithful had nothing to cheer for, so they essentially ignored the home side and rooted for Bryant and Bynum.

This is in not an indictment on the NYC, but an indication on how dysfunctional things have become.

Right or wrong I don’t know …

I think Phil Jackson means the Lakers weren’t perfect.

"We did our normal thing. We asked the Lord’s prayer after a Sunday ballgame," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "Forgive us our sins and trespasses. We had some trespasses, there’s no doubt about it." (ESPN)

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