Kobe Bryant surpassed Shaquille O’Neal’s record on February 2nd on the NBA’s career scoring list and is now in 5th place; Bryant now has 28, 601. He only needed 24 points to pass Shaq’s record of 28,596. Bryant hit a long jump shot with 5:07 left in the first half to push him past Shaq. Bryant said after the game, “To say it’s a huge honor is a understatement.” Also saying “It’s a lot of basketball. I’ve been very fortunate to have such a good career.” He finished the night with 28 points, but the Lakers lost to the 76ers 95-90.
O’Neal and Bryant would often publicly fight, even as they lead the Lakers to NBA championships in 2000, 2001 and 2002.But Shaq down played the drama to different media outlets and when asked about Bryant’s passing of his record. He called it “marketing” and said “A lot of people thought we really had problems, but the problems I created were just for everyone to look at us, notice us.” He even took the time honored testament and blamed some of the hyped drama on the media.
Paul Passes a Bird
The pressure was on for Paul Pierce when they played the Charlotte Bobcats on February 7th. With every basket he made, he and everyone in the TD Banknorth Garden knew what he was chasing. Pierce wanted to overtake Larry Bird’s spot as the Boston Celtics career scorer list. Pierce needed nine points to tie Bird’s total of 21,791. He had seven points at halftime, but he managed to hit a 3-pointer with 10:23 left in the third quarter to overtake Bird’s total. Pierce’s score was 21,797.
Once Pierce had the shot he raised his arms in success as Boston fans gave him a standing ovation. The applause lasted for several minutes and Kevin Garnett encouraged the crowed to continue for more. After the game Pierce said, “It was a relief. So much was hanging over me the last couple of days. Just hearing about it and knowing that you’ve got a game to play,” he finished with 15 points for the night. “Just to be mentioned with him, with this organization, is a great honor.” While Pierce sits pretty at number two he still has some way to go to before he gets the top spot. The Celtics all-time leading scorer John Havlicek holds that mark with 26,395 points. Even better for the Celtics and Pierce Boston won 94-84.
No Love for K-Love
Kevin Love said his emotions got the best of him when the wolves played the Rockets on February 4th. Because his emotions, and putting his size 19 into Luis Scola’s face got the best of him he was suspended for two games. This happened in the 3rd quarter after they fought while going for a rebound. Love went to step over Scola but instead stepped on him as he ran down the court.
This was not the first time these two had issues though. Earlier in the week Scola tried to save the ball from going out of bounds but hit Love in the groin area instead. Some say it was payback for this move but none the less Love apologized on and off court saying, “I don’t want to be known for that.” While continuing the high road approach he said, “I want to be known as a stand up guy who happened to make a mistake.”Scola seemed annoyed indifferent with his suspension saying, “I saw a replay in the locker room. I haven’t seen it since then. It’s over. That’s it. I wish they would have called a foul so I would have had two free throws or they would have done the suspension there so we could have some advantages. Now the game is over, I really don’t care.”
Other NBA News & Notes
- Denver Nuggets Danillo Gallinari is going to sit out for a month. Tests showed that he has a sprained ankle and a chip fracture, but the fracture appeared to be old. He will receive treatment for a significant ankle sprain. Everyone in the Nuggets organization is relieved because he is the team’s leading scorer and they without him it they will suffer. So it is good news that it is only a month. He will be back in March.
- Carmelo Anthony will miss 1-2 weeks with a strained right groin. He was hurt February 6th and leaving the game only after six minutes of the 99-88 win over the Jazz. This has not been a good season for Anthony who has been plagued with injuries such as various ankle, wrist and other hand injuries and has missed three games. As if the injuries were not enough for Anthony his shooting has suffered as well. But he still leads the Knicks with 22.3 points per game.
- Continuing with the New York Knicks, they will be missing another player because of personal issues. Amare Stoudemire’s brother was killed in a car accident when the SUV he was driving in hit the back of a trailer. Stoudemire has returned to Florida to be with his family and missed February 6th game against the Jazz. Spokesman Jonathan Supranowitz does not know when he will be back and Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni said he can take as much time as he needs. Jeff Jeffries will replace him in the lineup.