Kobe Bryant – The Legend

Kobe Bryant 8Kobe Bean Bryant entered the National Basketball Association (NBA) right out of high school as the first guard to ever do so, in 1996. On draft night the Hornets selected him and he was immediately, as was prearranged, traded to the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Black Mamba stayed with the Showtime Lakers for his entire 20 year career, earning 18 trips to the All-Star game, being named 15 times to the All-NBA team, locking in 12 All-Defensive Team honors, taking home 5 NBA Championships (one three-peat and one repeat), nabbing 2 NBA Finals MVP Awards, and 1 NBA MVP, among many other honors and accomplishments. His 18X All-Star appearances is second only to NBA All-Star and Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s 19 nods.

Kobe Bryant 24He was a monster on the court, offensively and defensively, and earned the respect of virtually anyone who played or watched the game, even those who hate on the Lakers, for their 16 total NBA Championships, second only to the Boston Celtics who have won 17, 11 of which were gathered with NBA All-Star and Hall of Famer Bill Russell.

obe Bryant 5 time champKobe was the first-ever NBA player to amass at least 30,000 career points coupled with 6,000 career assists, and is one of only four NBA players with 25,000 points, 6,000 rebounds and 6,000 assists. In 2006, the Black Mamba scored 81 points in a W over the Toronto Raptors, second only to 100 dropped by legend Wilt Chamberlain.

During his career, Kobe averaged 25.0 points, 5.20 rebounds, and 4.69 assists per game. His 33,643 total points scored ranks 4th all-time in the NBA. He played 1,346 regular season games and another 220 NBA playoff games.

Kobe Bryant OscarDue to a very serious torn Achilles tendon in 2013, and further injuries to follow, his remaining few years with the team were not vintage Kobe, although his last game, the 2016 season finale on April 13, saw him scoring a season-high 60 points against Utah, where, during this last hurrah, he outscored the entire Jazz team 23–21 in the fourth quarter, ensuring a Lakers 101–96 victory.

He was also a two-time Olympic Gold Medal winner (2008 and 2012) and, after his retirement he won an Oscar in 2018 for the Best Animated Short Film, titled “Dear Basketball.”

Kobe Bryant will be missed on many levels.

May he Rest in Peace!

Over For Now.

Main Street One

 

Yanking Arms In The NBA

The NBA Playoffs are progressively getting more physical.

During the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, Cleveland Cavalier forward Kevin Love had his shoulder dislocated by Boston Celtics center Kelly Olynyk. That play ended Love’s season.

Was it a dirty play? Kevin thought so, as do I, based convincingly on this Associated Press photo of what was occurring during the play. Look at that grip by Olynyk and the expression on his face.

Kevin Love - Kelly OlynykThere is absolutely no reason for Olynyk to be gripping Love’s arm the way he is doing, with his left hand and right forearm locking him in. Perhaps I am too old school, but this was never taught as a box-out move in any hoops leagues in which I competed.

As penalty, Olynyk was suspended one game without pay for ripping Love’s shoulder out of its socket and taking him out of play for four to six months. The Cavaliers did strike back later in the game and J.R. Smith was suspended two games without pay when he swung his arm at Celtics forward Jae Crowder’s head.

Later, during the Eastern Conference Finals, Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford performed a similar move to that of Olynyk. That is, he grabbed Cavaliers’ guard Matthew Dellavedova’s upper arm in the same manner, yanking him to the floor. Horford received a Flagrant II and was ejected from the game, though not for that specific play, but for what followed.

Horford claims Dellavedova was going for his legs. In video footage of the game it is clear Horford yanked the guard down and into his own teammate, DeMarre Carroll. Dellavedova stumbled over Carroll and into Horford, who, after the fall, takes an elbow swing (the actual flagrant) at the Cav’s guard and then his 250-pound body lands on his opponents arm.

The “controversy” that surrounds the decision to call a Flagrant II on Horford comes from commentators and others questioning Dellavedova’s play the night before and during the Cleveland-Chicago series.

In game two, Atlanta guard Kyle Korver and Dellavedova both dove for a loose ball. The Cav’s player ended up rolling over Korver’s lower leg resulting in the Hawks’ sharp-shooter out for the series. In the earlier series Dellavedova locked up Gibson with his legs.

Delly leg lock Chicago Sun Times
Dellavedova leg lock on Gibson – Chicago Sun Times

In the play with Korver, both dove for the ball and it is not clear the Cav’s guard landed on Korver’s lower leg on purpose but in the play with Gibson that certainly looks intentional.

However, in the first photo and video above it is very obvious that both Olynyk and Horford were intentionally taking their opponents down, not boxing them out.

It seems that upper arm holding as a method to “box out” opponents has become a common maneuver in the NBA and one that should be of concern as the potential for devastating injury certainly exists, and has already happened. Officials should take note and take appropriate steps to get that form of play eliminated from the game.

Over For Now.

Main Street One

Glad Dwyane Wade Clarified Olympic Pay Statement

When it was first reported that Miami Heat All Star Dwyane Wade stated that Olympic hoopsters “should be compensated” for their time there was something that did not sit exactly right.

Ray Allen, all-time 3-point champion of the Boston Celtics and former Olympian (2000), was the first to say it, in an interview with FoxSports, a day earlier.

The basic argument, reported at the time, was that it takes a lot of time and energy away from everything else in one’s life, and that the product companies make money selling more gear. D-Wade said, “It’s a lot of things you do for the Olympics — a lot of jerseys you sell.”

The point about products is interesting, especially in light of the fact that the US Olympic hoopsters are pros and many, if not all of them, earn endorsement money, be it from specific basketball related items (like Nike shoes) or hawking burgers or insurance.

One of the reasons a company chooses to pay athletes to endorse their product or service is due to the high profile.

Jesse D. Garrabrant / 2008 NBAE

Thus, when a pro baller goes to the Olympics, regardless of his current visibility status, that profile will always go up even more, especially with a Gold Medal.  A higher profile will then mean, in many cases, more endorsements, new endorsements, other ways that money finds its way into the pockets of the pro.

And, earnings for those pros endorsing products generally far outweighs their hefty NBA salary.

Thus, it is good D-Wade sort of back-stepped. He did not outright reverse.  He just said “he” doesn’t need to get paid to participate in the 2012 Olympics.

His clarification: “BUT my love 4 the game & pride 4 USA motivates me more than any $$$ amount. I repped my country in 2004 when we won the bronze medal and stood proudly to receive our gold medal in 2008 in Beijing. It’s always been an honor for me to be a part of the USA Olympic family…and I’m looking forward to doing it again in London this summer.”

And, we do look forward to Dwyane and his teammates taking the Gold.

Over For Now.

Main Street One

Los Angeles Lakers 2010 NBA Champions

Sports is a tremendously huge part of the culture of Main Street USA.

Between athletic and theatrical events the citizens of America spend billions upon billions of their hard-earned dollars.

In sporting competitions it is enjoyable to follow and watch someone become the champion, the best at what they do.

This year, as they did in 2009, the Los Angeles Lakers were crowned as the Kings of Basketball after defeating their arch-rival, the Boston Celtics.


The Lakers were led all season by Kobe Bryant.

Make no mistake about it, basketball is a team activity and Kobe received a lot of assistance to acquire his 5th NBA Finals Championship Ring and his second consecutive NBA Finals MVP Award.

The series against the Celtics proved that Pau Gasol (the “Spaniard” as Kobe calls him), Derek Fisher, Andrew Bynum, Ron Artest, Lamar Odom, Sasha Vujacic, Jordan Farmar, Shannon Brown, and Luke Walton wanted that 16th NBA Title for Los Angeles possibly as much as did Kobe.

However, Kobe is Kobe.

He is a dynamic player for the ages. A winner.

He is a winner surrounded by others who desire to win as well.

Congratulations to coach Phil Jackson and all the Lakers! Especially to Kobe Bryant.

Over For Now.

Main Street One