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Tuesday, April 13th, 2010 at 10:30 am  |  55 responses

Tyreke Evans’ Shameless Pursuit of a Milestone

Anyone who watched the Kings/Rockets game last night understood immediately that it was all about 20-5-5 for ‘Reke, as far as Sacramento was concerned anyway. Following the game, the Houston Chronicle was less than amused: “They should be ashamed. Instead, they celebrated. That was a farce, an insult to the game. The Kings loved it. Tyreke Evans is a wonderful talent. He has my rookie of the year vote. The statistical achievement he secured on Monday is remarkable and will not be his last. The Kings, however, made the game about a statistic. Evans needed 24 points to guarantee that he would finish the season as just the fourth rookie — joining Oscar Robertson, Michael Jordan and LeBron James — to average 20 points, five rebounds and five assists. When he got to 22 points, everything was about that goal. He kept driving to impossible shots, missing one after another. With Kings fans on their feet and the volume on the beat cranked up, he ended the first half missing three straight as the Rockets cut the lead to five. With the crowd again choosing the Kings offense, he missed five more and charged into Trevor Ariza as the Rockets took the lead. He finally made two free throws to get his 24 points and received a standing ovation, followed by another when the announcement, that was by then unnecessary was made. Even Arnold Schwarzenegger joined the long ovation. The two free throws were his only points in the second half. The Rockets, meanwhile, pushed their lead to 10 with three minutes left. The Kings had gone from a 14-point lead to a 10-point loss. It was their 10th loss in 11 games. And they celebrated it happily. ‘I didn’t even know what was going on,’ Rockets coach Rick Adelman said. ‘Finally, they put the 20, 5, 5 up there (on the scoreboard.) I’m more than happy to let him take that. We’ll take the win and go home.”‘

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  • JoeMaMa

    The title of this posting smacks of haterism. No shame in doing what he did. I’m sure the people of Sacramento would rather forget the team’s failures and focus on his successes.

  • Overtime

    All for focusing on his success, but did he really want to get it like that.
    Im with Adelman, I’ll take the win

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/farmer-jones/ Ryan Jones

    There’s definitely a little shame in that, Joe. Not as much as when Ricky Davis shot and missed at his own basket a few years back, but still.

  • T-Money

    Im getting really tired of hearing about the ”integrity” of the game. He didn’t cheat, he didn’t ask for the opposing team to let him score. Why wouldn’t he be gunning for a stat that puts his name with Michael, Oscar and Brown in a meaningless game between two teams that won’t make the playoffs? Of course he would have never done this if the game had any playoffs implication. In a month, nobody will remember this game but they’ll remember that he was 20-5-5 in his rookie year.

  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    Maybe they don’t know this is how the Kings always play.

  • T-Money

    Ryan: why? I remember David Robinson gunning like crazy on the last game of the season to finish #1 in scoring in front of Shaq. That was actually fun. Where’s the harm in it?

  • MikeC.

    If he were gunning for his own stats while helping his team win, then go for it. Since it came at the expense of a potential W, I lay the blame on the coaching staff. Evans is a young kid trying to stand out, and is still learning his way in the L. It’s the job of the organization to help him develop into a solid player and person. Encouraging a player to gun for stats is what can change a player from ‘the next great PG’ to ‘the next Ricky Davis’.
    @Ryan Jones – thanks for the Ricky D mention. I was trying to remember who it was that shot on their own basket gunning for the triple-double.

  • http://www.twitter.com/mansonovic Mansonovic

    I’m with T-Money on this one. Neither team is making the playoffs, it’s a nothing game, and the kid has put his name in the history books. Good for him, I say.

  • Exile

    Isn’t the term “winner” used to describe pers who are truly the “A” listers in the NBA? Perhaps (without watching enough Kings BBall to have a firm opinion) Evans mentality, although a great talent, is part of the reason the Kings are not winning more? When I have watched him, he has impressed the hell out of me with his confidence and strength, but sometimes moments like these reveal more than you think….. Or maybe it was just to give Sac Management something to hang their hat on… I don’t know.

  • http://slamonline.com Matt Lawyue

    To this day, that Ricky Davis stunt was just…wow.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ niQ

    For the record, did they actually count Ricky Davis’ Triple double? I thought I read somewhere that the commish denied it or something. LOL

  • MattM

    @niQ Yeah they took away Ricky’s triple double. It was too bad really. Also this is no different than Oak and I believe Michael Cage chasing rebounds or George Gervin and, wow my mind went blank, but somebody else gunning for the scoring title on the same day.

  • Jeff Henderson

    Ricky Davis what a scrub. A lot of these guys really go for these achievements hard at the end of the year, because they get extra money for certain statistics.

  • James

    Why am I not surprised about this? When a ROY candidate goes out of his way to hire a PR firm to boost his chances of winning ROY, this is exactly what you get. I watched a Kings game on TV, and all I kept hearing about was 20-5-5, instead of actually trying to win the game.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ niQ

    David Thompson. @MattM

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ niQ

    Oh and yea, back then people chased down that scoring title til the last day. Nowadays it’s take it or leave it.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Can you IMAGINE if Lebron or Kobe had done this?
    The entire Internets would have exploded.

  • http://bleacherreport.com/users/42594-hoops4life Overtime

    Good points by Exile and MikeC

  • Dre Baller

    how about Andray Blatche being just one rebound shy of a triple double then doing everything possible to get it? Even begging Yi Jianlian http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDzRvZcFn48

  • http://bleacherreport.com/users/42594-hoops4life Overtime

    Also, I cant find many good vids on that Ricky Davis thing, if anyone has a link?

  • http://slamonline.com tealish

    I’m a Tyreke fan and I think he’s the ROY by a margin wider than most people believe…but this is kind of bad. When you clearly allow this milestone to take on a higher importance than winning the game, it does look bad. Then again, I haven’t watched the game. I hope it didn’t look as bad as was described.

  • http://www.motherjones.com AndTheJellosJigglin

    Before this incident I wanted him to get the R.O.Y. I wonder how long Kings fans will accept him being a statistical giant while Rekeing Havok on the Kings win total…

  • Orlando Woolridge

    Give me a fuggin break! People here are going to compare this to Ricky Davis?! “from next great PG to next Ricky Davis”?! Get the f@ck outa here, that’s ridiculous.

  • Orlando Woolridge

    …ok, maybe I didn’t need to be so angry about it. My bad. I still don’t think its a big deal though.

  • Hangtime Hec

    Tyreke Evans nickname should be Reke Havoc. That Andray Blatche video is hilarious.

  • Rob

    This is the only achievement the Kings will have this year, let them celebrate. Nothing is at stake, both teams are going home, if Tyreke can achieve something, let him. The Rockets are mad because they don’t have a player like him, so they act as if they were so true to the game GTFOH!

  • tavoris

    word back in the day was that Moses Malone would miss shots intentionally to pad his rebound stats.

    Good for ‘Reke…people can hate on the dubious distinction, but he’s been crossing up kats in slow motion all damn season.

  • reald

    HE ALREADY GOT REKE HAVOC FROM RUCKER

  • mems

    LOL yea Rob, the rockets were so mad after they won and Martin dropped 33 on them…okay. lmao, this is the only good thing to happen to the kings for the next 5 years. let em have it. who needs to win games anyways when you have nice stats. as long as tyreke plays like this the kigs will never do anything. he spends the first 15 seconds of the clock looking for his shot and then he’ll look to set up teammates. thats bad basketball.

  • http://twitter.com/PDXGayBBall dma

    Nothing but a good player on a terrible team. I take back my vote for ROY for Curry. Give it to Psycho T.

  • http://www.slamonline.com San Dova

    At least with Oscar, Mike and LeBron, they play for those numbers. Tyreke and his camp and team probably want to add to his stock, but I don’t know…I’m not going to hate on him, but history will remember how you got the record. In a more solid defense of the Kings, they weren’t going to gain a whole bunch from winning the game, so I guess “backing” your franchise player in that way is a good deed of some sort, but winning is (or should be) the focal point of the game.

  • http://www.slamonline.com San Dova

    They didn’t play for those numbers*

  • http://sevendeu2u.wordpress.com/ Seven Duece

    Adelman is the man lol

  • kudos

    Tyreke is the next “zach randolph” just without the drugs and guns. Baller’s who just put up ‘stats’ are just gonna do that, put up stats. the kings are one of the top 3 worst teams in the nba, so it doesn’t matter if he puts up 30 10 and 10. If you’re winning 1 outta every 4 games, you suck. Period. Don’t talk about talent either, the bucks have worse.

  • big easy

    tyreke can put up stats, but hes nowhere near Lebron rookie year. Lebron helped his team double their win total. They had 17 before they drafted him, and got 35 the year after. The King improve by just 7 wins with Tyreke Evans, and still end up as another lottery pick team. Please dont think im hatin, because Tyreke is a good player, but hes definitely not a winner yet, as demonstrated by his pursuit of a pointless milestone that WON’T guarantee him a spot in the HOF, unlike MJ, Oscar, and Lebron, who are or will be in the HOF.

  • Jon

    whoa whoa whoa. so winning that game when the kings are already out of the playoffs over another team that is out of the playoffs would mean more to the fans than witnessing their rookie churn out remarkable milestone that few have witnessed? i’d rather watch history than one meaningless win. anyhow that loss also means an extra ping pong ball or two. evan turner or john wall + reke anyone?

  • doyouwantmore

    This is the NBA! Where’s the integrity!? This ain’t a GAME!…Oh wait.

  • kudos

    Nah man. This is about shot selection. Shot selection.

  • Rob

    @mems yeah they won, big deal they won’t reach the playoffs, at least the Kings have a great player who just made history and is fun to watch, unlike the rockets who have nothing to cheer for. Believe me they were mad.

  • Sparty’s Law

    Mike James pulled this crap when he was with the Raptors and was coming up on free agency over the summer, only the rest of his team wasn’t in on it. He needed to score so many points in the last couples weeks of the season to average 20ppg for the year so he took all kinds of crazy shots.

  • MikeC.

    @Orlando Woolridge – regarding your 2:09 post. I wasn’t implying that Tyreke gunning for his stats was, by itself, going to turn him into the next Ricky D. My point was more towards the Kings organization as a whole. If they encourage him to go for his own stats over the good of developing the team, then they’re doing him a disservice as a developing Point Guard. I get that at this point in their season, they don’t have much to be happy about, and a statistical milestone can be a point of pride, but going for an individual milestone at the expense of winning makes the entire pursuit of team sports pointless. There are the things the coaching staff need to be saying to him to reinforce the importance of winning as a unit. It’s not Tyreke’s fault this happened because it was allowed/encouraged to happen by people who should know better. If Paul Westphal is fired next season because Tyreke has turned into a selfish gunner and the team’s W-L record stinks, whose fault is it?

  • MikeC.

    @Sparty’s Law – I remember Mike James on the Raptors, chucking up those crazy shots from all over and wondering “what in the world is this guy doing?” Then I found out it was a contract year, and that answered my question. I remember reading a Mike James interview during that season, where he said something to the effect of “I’m averaging 20ppg, I’m no journeyman.” I’d say that a guy that bounces from team to team is the very definition of a journeyman. Did James sign with anybody after his buy-out from the Wiz?

  • Shem

    Great stat, happy for Reke, Congrats now let’s see some playoffs

  • The Philosopher

    Speaking of guys chasing stats, shout out to Donald Royal.

  • mack

    Um… ok??? This is stupid.

  • http://kapatid7799@yahoo.com Rai

    YO SLAM love everything you guys do, but nothing shameful bout Reke getting that milestone. any team would have done the same thing, if i was his teammate i wuda helped him get theat milestone plus they got the win. thats a pretty big honor being only the 4th player EVER to do that. we should all be happy for Reke. he has a great future in the NBA.

  • Dirtydizzil

    Hey rob… dont blame houston for being mad, its the person who wrote that article for the houston chronicle. Half of houston hates the journalist who writes for that newspaper. It all his opinion not the houston orginazation.

  • http://myspace.com/weezyleezy337 GametimeWeezy

    Tyreke Evans is what…19, 20 years old? Best player on the team. No vets to slap him upside his head? Good for him though, i mean the kid can ball. But honestly when it comes to the Sacramento Kings…MITCH RICHMOND is my dude!

  • http://www.twitter.com/mansonovic Mansonovic

    Wow, a lot of people here hating on Reke for this achievement, but will happily watch entire teams tank a season to land the next big thing in the Draft. Hypocrisy much? C’mon now.

  • http://www.twitter.com/mansonovic Mansonovic

    I’m staggered by the hate on Reke for this, when there are entire teams who will gladly tank a season for the chance at the no.1 pick in the Draft. Think about that before you all hate on a guy for trying to snag a fairly major rookie achievement.

  • mems

    @Rob. yea the rockets are so mad that they’ll only be a championship contender next year while the queens will go back to the lottery. cheers!

  • AiRsMiTh

    Steph Curry doesn’t put records ahead winning games. No tanking, Warriors went out trying to win as many games as possible and got a few despite having only 5-7 players playing throughout the course of their remaining games. Curry does not only put up the stats that he does, but he makes his teammates (many of whom were called up from the D-League this year) better and is THE reason the Warriors have been able to win these last few games. The Queens don’t care about trying to win games. They could save some face, but they’d rather watch Tyreke play 1-on-5. If Tyreke just kept playing his game, he would have almost certainly EARNED those 2 points, but instead he just cares about chucking up horrible shots; and his team just sits back and watches carelessly, and even praise him for finishing the way he did. What a great organization. What’s the point of playing the game if you’re not going to try and win, they may as well have forfeited.

  • Jon

    If you follow Tyreke Evans for the entire season, you’ll know that he is actually the last player that would play for stats.

    A very clear example was at the rookie vs soph all star game. When everyone else including Curry, Jenning and Blair were firing up shots everytime they touched the ball, Tyreke was still passing. Even when Jennings and curry started to catch up to Tyreke in pts and possibily take his MVP award chances away, he continued to feed Blair because he wanted Blair to get 20/20. Tyreke goes on to share the MVP with Blair which he didn’t have to. This shows what type of player he is.

    For the last feel games in the Kings home stand, the Kings marketed to their fans to come witness Tyreke get the 20-5-5. Tyreke had said in interviews during that week that he knows everyone wants him to get it. Its kind of like a 20 yr old rookie doing what his bosses wants and to please the fans. But Tyreke through out the season was not a shelfish player.

  • Jon

    LOL @ airsmith

    When curry plays the lakers, they check him with the aging D-fish or Jordan Farmar. The opposing team’s D does not plan around stopping curry. The warriors won their last game because Roy was injured and they rested Camby and Aldrige. Also the Blazers had nothing else to play for as oppose to a week ago when they played the Kings, they were still fighting for playoff position.

    When Tyreke plays the lakers, they check him with Ron Artest & Kobe. You know who else Tyreke goes up against every game? Mike Brown put Lebron on Tyreke in the second half of their game and I quote “Tyreke was scoring at will. We had to put Lebron on him… we have to give him that respect.”

    But who are we kidding. All of the warriors fans out there saying curry is better…. but if you guys had a choice… would you really pick curry over Tyreke? HAHAHAHA

  • AirsMiTh

    @ Jon, Portland swept Sacramento this year. Tyreke had one decent game against them. And would you care to explain who the teams planned on stopping when they played the Warriors then? Would it be Reggie Williams, or the unstoppable Corey Maggette, or how about Devean George? Monta has been injured during the majority of Curry’s insurgence, but that wouldn’t make any sense for teams to try and stop Curry, you’re right. The Warriors beat Roy company convincingly earlier in the season although Curry did not play a significant role in that game, however, Curry still managed 42 in the final game while the Warriors were getting dominated down low and on the glass. I doubt even if Camby and Aldridge were playing, it would have made such a huge difference aside from Aldridge’s offense considering George and Curry accounted for half of the team’s rebounds. I’ll admit that Tyreke can pretty much get to the rack at will, but he does not have a reliable jumpshot and whose to say he will develop one. Therefore as of now, Curry is the more well-rounded and intelligent player. Hence I would pick him to be on my time, because he is more suitable to have a team built around. Perhaps a Kings fan?

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