NBA All Star Game 2015 – West 163 East 158

And, yet, another scoring record for the NBA All Star Game held at New York’s famed Madison Square Garden, Sunday, February 14, 2015, with the West outlasting the East 163-158, for a total of 321 points, beating the 2014 outing of 318 points. The teams combined to make 48 3-pointers, obliterating the previous high of 30, a record which was also set last year.

Eventual All Star Game MVP Russell Westbrook had a hot hand (shooting 16-for-28, 5-for-9 beyond the arc) and his 41 points was just one point shy of Wilt Chamberlain’s all-time All Star game scoring mark of 42, set over five decades ago in 1962. Westbrook (Oklahoma City) joins Chamberlain (Philadelphia Warriors) and Michael Jordan (Chicago Bulls), who dropped 40 in 1988, as the only players to ever top the 40-mark during the mid-season classic.

Russell Westbrook
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

It should be noted that Chamberlain set his mark in 37 minutes of play, while Westbrook was in the game for only 25 minutes. The OKC guard did set a record for points scored in a half, with his 27 topping the previous high, 24, accomplished by Glen Rice (Charlotte Hornets) in 1997 and Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers) in 2014.

There was another, different, mark achieved Sunday as the Gasol brothers, Pau (Chicago Bulls) and Marc (Memphis Grizzlies), became the first siblings to start in the annual best-of-the-league series. They even faced off for the opening tip, which was won by older brother, Pau, for the East.

LeBron James
Bob Donnan – USA TODAY Sports

Had the East been able to pull out the victory, the game being tied at 148 with four minutes to play, it is likely Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James might have taken the MVP trophy home, scoring 30 points on 11-for-21 shooting, though only 4-for-12 from long distance, while grabbing five boards and adding seven assists.

In a game that is totally driven by offense, with very little defense being played, the West players shot 65-133 (48.9%), with 25-65 (38.5%) from 3-point-land, and the East was 65-130 (50%), but only 23-68 (33.8%) beyond the arc. Other players who put on a show were James Harden (Houston Rockets) with 29 points (firing 11-for-16 overall, 7-12 from 3-point) with eight boards and eight assists, and Kyle Korver (Atlanta Hawks) with 21 points, all from long-range, where he was 7-for12.

Reserve West guard Chis Paul (Los Angeles Clippers) had a game high 15 assists while Pau Gasol led both squads with 12 rebounds, beating brother Marc, who was second highest with 10.

Over For Now.

Main Street One

A Night of Records – West 152 East 149 NBA 2012 All Star Game in Orlando

When all was said and done, the West held on for a 3 point victory over the East after being ahead by as many as 20 points in the final quarter. The East All Stars had pulled to within one point in the closing minute but were unable to snatch the game from the West, despite opportunities to do so.

Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant grabbed the MVP Award with his Thunder-ous 36 point effort. Had the East won, undoubtedly LeBron James, who led the ferocious comeback and also scored 36 points, would have been named MVP.

Photo: Bill Baptist/Getty Images from SI.com

The final score, West 152 East 149, set a new record for most total points scored in a game at 301. The 1st half scoring of 88 points by the West set an All Star Record, while the combined total of 157 tied the existing record.

As LeBron turned up the “Heat” on the West, he tied a record by scoring six from behind the arc. Teammate Dwyane Wade also tied a record by becoming one of only three players with a triple double All Star game performance (24 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists), joining James and Michael Jordan.

The biggest record to fall, however, was that of LA Lakers star Kobe Bryant breaking Michael Jordan’s all-time scoring mark, with his 27 point effort, bringing the Black Mamba to 271 total points in 13 appearances (20.84 average). He tied MJ with a free throw and broke the record with a dunk in the 3rd period.


All in all a very exciting game, especially the final 5 or 6 minutes when the defense really kicked in on both sides.

It was easy to see they each wanted the victory.

Over For Now.

Main Street One

Kobe Bryant Moves To #5 All-time Leading NBA Scorer

Kobe Bryant, of the Los Angeles Lakers, added another statistic to his already impressive resume, which includes 5-time NBA Champion, 2-time NBA Finals MVP, 14-time NBA All Star, 4-time NBA All Star MVP, 2-time NBA Scoring Champion, etc.

This week the Black Mamba moved to the number 5 spot as the All-time NBA Leading Scorer, passing former teammate Shaquille O’Neal, with a total of 28,601 points, averaging 25.36 per game.
Kobe
The closest active player behind him is #19 Kevin Garnett with 23,659.

And those who are still ahead of him? Those would be the All Stars in the 30,000 Club:

1) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 38,387 – 24.61 per game
2) Karl Malone 36,928 – 25.02
3) Michael Jordan 32,292 – 30.12
4) Wilt Chamberlain 31,419 – 30.07

Based on his career average, it will take Kobe 111 games to catch Wilt.

If he is able to keep that per game average going, and he is currently performing above that level in this shortened 66-game year, Kobe will move to number 4 in the latter part of the 2012-13 season, not counting any games during the play-offs.

And then sometime in first 23 games of the following season, again not counting post-season, he would pass Michael Jordan.

All of which means that with a substantial number of post-season appearances, Kobe would surpass both Wilt and MJ next season.

The path to achieve #2 and passing Karl Malone seems a bit more daunting as the 4,636 point spread between #2 and #3 would take him into the 2016-2017 season (not counting any post-season games). Not impossible, but certainly a long ways off.

Congratulations to Kobe on his latest achievement.

Over For Now.

Main Street One

NBA Lockout Ultimatum – Who Is To Blame ?

There does not appear to be any specific “who” when trying to decide where the blame lies in the NBA Lockout. Fingers point in all directions.

The union representing all NBA players certainly did well during the previous lockout (1998-1999), garnering an unprecedented 57% of all BRI (Basketball Related Income) being directed to the player’s pockets.

Under the time period of the “57% players – 43% owners” split the popularity of basketball grew, as did gross BRI – up over 4% in a year, to a total of $3.8 billion during the 2010-2011 season.

Unfortunately, some small market owners are claiming they have sustained losses that cannot be endured.

The result? Certain hard-line owners, including player-turned-owner Michael Jordan (Charlotte Bobcats), want to change everything and demand that players receive a maximum 47% of BRI.

That the loss-generating owners could even think that is fair simply means they should, minimally, have their heads examined.

Another owner, super mega-billionaire Paul Allen (Microsoft, Portland Trail Blazers), spent money extravagently trying to buy himself a title in the NBA. The net result: no title and a financial loss, on paper anyway. He feels players, not he or his management team, are to blame.

Allen wants owners, like himself, who own teams that are in the red, to be given a larger share of the pie.

Perhaps there is some logic in that. Players do make awfully good money for playing a game that they love. And super-stars earn even more with their endorsements, which, in the end, adds to the price tag of that product or service they hawk.

However, the owner logic probably does not exist.

How do owners of successful businesses (afterall, they are all billionaires) lose money in the NBA? More than likely it is due, pure and simply, to their huge ego.

For most, owning a pro sports franchise is primarily a sideline, not a mainline activity. And they simply do not manage their teams as they do their businesses. Otherwise, they would not allow themselves to be “luxury taxed.” They would not let an agent lock them in to an unrealistic over-the-top contract for a player who really does not deserve it.

And then there is NBA Commissioner David Stern. At a press conference Stern claimed there was a deal on the table. A couple of sentences later he states that if the deal is not accepted by close of business Wednesday the next offer will be even worse. That is not good-faith negotiation. That is intimidation. That is dictatorship.

So what does all of this mean in terms of negotiating a settlement that both the owners and the players feel is fair? Unfortunately, no one knows.

There is no crystal ball that will inform one and all that “this is the magic number, this is the way mid-level exceptions should be handled, etc, etc.”

In the end it comes down to common sense and, possibly, that the opinions and desires of owners who spend lavishly should be discounted, if not tossed out in their entirely. They only hinder the process.

And, when an agreement is finally reached, owners will still be billionaires and players will still be millionaires.

Meanwhile, the sports fans, who ultimately put every single dollar into the pockets of both sides by subscribing to NBA TV, attending games, purchasing team and player gear, even buying a hot dog while rooting their team on, can only sit on the sidelines, frustrated as the drama continues.

Over For Now.

Main Street One