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Friday, February 11th, 2011 at 8:50 am  |  124 responses

Post Up: Hit Record

Ray Allen makes history, though Lakers defeat Celts.

by Adam Figman | @afigman

L.A. Lakers 92, Boston 86

Two halves, two stories. The one to come out of the first was Ray Allen’s, when the sharpshooter hit his 2,560th and 2,561st three-pointers, becoming the all-time leader in three-point fielders. Props go out to Ray, who we all know hass worked insanely hard to get to where he’s at, and deserves that record like no other. During the second half, we turned our eyes on the actual game, when these two battled back and forth, as always. This time, though, L.A. was able to keep the C’s at a slight distance during the final minutes, and Kobe Bryant made a couple of huge buckets down the stretch to secure the win. Despite the on-again, off-again struggles the Lakers have been going through as of late, they made a hell of a statement last night, essentially stating, “Yo, we still here!” to the rest of the League by coming up with this victory. Kobe led the Lakers with 23 points, while Ray Allen did the same for the Celts with 20. Boston has a few games off before another big one, when the Heat come to town on Sunday, and the Lake Shows hits MSG tonight to face the Knicks. And in case you forgot: Yo, they still here.

Phoenix 112, Golden State 88

While the above dogfight was taking place, a slightly less intense tilt went down in Phoenix, where the Suns ran all over the Warriors. Steve Nash scored 18, distributed 11 and was able to sit out for the entire final quarter, with the W was entirely at hand early on. The win brought the Suns to 25-25, good for 10th in the West. For the Warriors, Monta Ellis had an off night (8 points, 4-9 shooting), and the team shot just 40.0 percent from the field.

Denver 121, Dallas 120

I understand the fear that they’ll get left with nothing, but maybe the Nuggets should chill with the trade talk until they’re sure they can’t make a run at the Finals this season? When they’re playing well, and with Carmelo Anthony killing it the way he has been, it certainly seems like they can defeat anyone in the West—sans, perhaps, those Laker dudes. Anyway, it looked like the Mavs were gonna hold onto this one, holding the lead for the majority of the fourth, but behind Melo (42 points), Chauncey Billups (30) and Arron Afflalo (24), the Nugs stormed back, and tied things up in the final minute. With under 20 seconds to go, Dirk Nowitzki (who scored 16 total), drew Melo’s sixth foul and got to the line, hitting one of two to put Dallas up a single point with little time remaining. But Denver didn’t buckle, and after a Billups-Nene pick-and-roll failed, Chauncey founded Afflalo open on the wing, and…

(See below.)

Actual Stats: Carmelo Anthony: 42 points, 7 boards, 5 threes, 3 assists, 1 steal

Last Call:

Wait! One more Last Call, just cuz:

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  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    So the Celts fail in their first game of “Statement Weekend”. Should Lakers fans be concerned that the Celts played horribly after the first quarter, without Shaq in the lineup, and they barely won? Does this change the spanking the Celts gave them a few weeks ago in LA? I don’t know…neither looked fantastic to me.

  • Bruno

    Fri-Day!!!

  • http://www.nba.com/celtics lightsout

    i don’t think either the Celtics or the Lakers played great last night, but the Lakers played better than the Celtics in the second half, and I guess that was enough. didn’t help that the Celtics were without Shaq, JO, Erden up front and West, Marquis, and for most of the game, Nate in the backcourt. Oh, and was Pierce still sick? Cause he didn’t look so great.

  • MUBWAR

    All that mattered last night to the Celtics was Ray Ray’s record. Because after he broke it, no one in the green side showed up. Good game by gasol.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    And this is one of the rare occasions that I will thank the Lakers for beating a team….and it comes down to: if the Heat beat the Celts on Sunday, they will have the best record in the East at the All-Star break yet Doc will be the coach for the Eastern squad. Another dopey All-Star Weekend tradition put to work.

  • http://slamonline.com The Fresh Prince of Nsam

    A.F.F.L.A.L.O!
    The Lahers won (good team game by KB) but my Cs were 2 short handed while the Lakers played like it was a playoffs game 7 but we still came close. So I’m definitely not impressed by the Lake show this year, I’m convinced the champ will come from the East (Boston (60%) or MIA (40%)). It’ll all come down 2 the Cs having an injury free team come playoffs time. But I won’t b mad if MIA win, as long as it’s not the LAL or SAS.

  • http://blog.mysanantonio.com/spursnation/2011/02/10/at-44-8-spurs-won%E2%80%99t-settle-for-just-winning/ Anthony

    Rondo had so many open looks from 15ft to 16ft and he either didnt it take it or missed it (he missed 9 of his last 11 shots) that cost them the game, the Lakers played the same kind of defense they did in june and it still works.
    If he could be as good as Parker in that area, finishing around the rim with his left or right hand and adding a nice teardrop, it could be scary.
    I said at the begining of the season that if Miami can play smart defense on Rondo, they can beat Boston in a 7-games serie.

  • Bruno

    if up to Rondo to be in the Chris Paul/Deron Williams discussion, he has to start making those shots

  • http://www.slamonline.com KulchaKris

    Wasn’t sure how E was going to diminish the Laker victory, but I have to agree neither team looked that great. Still, last night’s game revealed Boston’s weaknesses. Their frontline is injury riddled, but who’s shocked that both O’neals are hurt? Rondo is good, but should not be included in any discussion of top 5 PG’s until he can consistently make an open jumpshot, and hit his free throws.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Ra on Rondon.

  • Logan

    Congratulations to Ray Allen. Well deserved.

    Both teams were not at 100% but Kobe was damn straight balling in the 3rd and 4th. Unstoppable.
    I hate it when people make excuses for losses. Celtics had a bunch of all stars on the court with 2 days of rest, right? And the ‘enforcer’ Perkins was back, right? Its pathetic how people here come up with all sorts of excuses for an L. Take it on the chin and move on.

  • http://www.redraidersports.com Nicolas Fleming

    Carmelo Anthony is good. Real good.

  • http://www.slamonline.com KulchaKris

    @Anthony, I’m not sure Miami has the size inside to replicate the Lakers’ defensive plan on Boston.

  • tRay

    Good win by the Lakers although it was ugly they’ll take it. Ray Ray is just that damn good lol and to answer lightsout yeah he was still sick.

  • http://www.slamonline.com KulchaKris

    But forget all this Lakers, Celtics, Heat stuff. The big game of the weekend is Wizards at Cavs! I’m hoping my hometown Wizards will notch their first road win….if not now, then when?

  • http://www.nba.com/celtics lightsout

    regarding Rondo’s midrange jumper: can’t remember where I read it, but he’s shooting around 46% from 16-19 feet. not great, but it’s ok. that shot sure wasn’t falling last night though.

  • http://blog.mysanantonio.com/spursnation/ Anthony

    KulchaKris, very true, Rondo was facing Bynum or Gasol in the paint, im sure he dont mind Joel Anthony .That being said, Miami and L.A are 2 totally different matchup for Boston, im looking for the sunday game, it should be interesting.

  • vtrobot

    praise jesus. props to kobe for going off and for showing true class by giving respect to ray both during the game and in the post game interview. @ E: you understand that they can’t wait until the night before to let someone know who’s coaching the ASG, right? they gotta give ‘em a little time to plan for the trip. not totally fair, but makes sense. @ SLAM: your ish is acting crazy again. i almost just posted as lightout by accident.

  • http://www.slamonline.com KulchaKris

    Last night’s game is Exhibit A of why some people (JTaylor? EBoy?) are so aggravated by Kobe. He played under control, didn’t force the issue, made some great plays down the stretch, and picked his spots. He could play that way all the time if he wanted to. Once can only speculate how different his career could have been.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    The way Kobe played in the second half has no correlation to why I can’t stand the dude. Matter of fact, if he played like that more often, I’d have 20% more respect for him.

  • http://www.redraidersports.com Nicolas Fleming

    Rondo looks like Xerxes from 300.

  • roman

    Eboy- miss me with that Shaq was a difference and Perkins being out of game 7- they wouldnt done ish. Shaq in the first game was 0-2. And Perkins game is weak. The Celtics shot their load in the first half and the Lakers brought it to them. Also Kobe was killing the ish out of Ray Allen and Von Wafer.

  • tRay

    @roman first off Shaq and Perk make a big difference so can’t see your point. Although Shaq didn’t score last time they met he is a big body in the paint and gives Gasol & Bynum problems but I do agree with you that it was a tale of two halves last night.

  • http://www.slamonline.com KulchaKris

    20% of what is the question. I guess I was projecting, E. I wish he would play like that all the time. I’m not a Laker fan, but I enjoy when players with considerable talent display it in a way that makes the game easier.

  • http://www.slamonline.com KulchaKris

    @tRay, Perkins makes a big difference on the defensive end. However, when he’s in the game, the Celtics are playing 4 vs 5 on offense. He has no offensive moves to speak of. Combine that with Rondo’s inability to shoot, and helps explain why the Celtics go through scoring droughts.

  • T-Money

    Anthony: Miami is not a small team, they’re small only when they play Joel. He played 2 minutes vs the Lakers on Xmas day. Vs Indiana, Miami played the whole 4th quarter with Wade-Miller-Bron-Bosh-Dampier. That’s the biggest lineup across the board in the league. Miami often plays small but never when it would hurt them to do so. With that said, I’m not sure how big you need to play vs Boston since none of their centers score and they don’t rebound the ball very well.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    I have 20% respect for him now……that would raise my respect level up to 40% if he played liked that all the time. It would be like a retarded game of Dungeons & Dungeons. “Respect Level…up to 40%!!!!” “Oh wait…he’s ball hogging again…turn it down to 15%!”

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Health is the Celtics frontcourts key.

  • http://www.redraidersports.com Nicolas Fleming

    How different his career could have been? 5 rings? top 10 all-time? I don’t see his career getting much better than that.

  • http://www.slamonline.com jumpman3224

    Kudos to the class of 1996! They already had 3 different NBA MVPs (KB24, Nash and AI), multiple all-stars (JO, Walker, Reef, Marbury, Z, Peja) and all-pros and 1 player who will go down as top 5-10 All-Time (KB24), now they have the most prolific 3 point shooter ever. That class just keeps asserting its place as one of the best two ever.

  • tRay

    @KulchaKris I definitely agree I was just pointing out that without him it also makes a big difference because he is without a doubt the best post defender on the team and even the league. He plays Bynum better than even Dwight Howard lol

  • http://www.slamonline.com KulchaKris

    @Nicolas, Kobe has had a great career. But you have to admit, there are times when his choices on the court proved detrimental to the team. I’m just speculating right now, and I realize the responsibility for this doesn’t fall solely on his shoulders. But, the finals loss to Detroit may have been avoided with different choices by Bean. That’s a significant difference to his career.

  • T-Money

    Von Wafer on Kobe was not fair. It just wasn’t. / Yeah… and I really don’t want to hear it about Rondo being top 5 at his position. I’d take CP3, Deron, Russell, D-Rose and Steve Nash over him. Easily. GTFOH with point guards that can’t hit free throws or elbow jumpers. He’s totally useless in crunch times because he won’t take the J but he won’t go to the hole either because he doesn’t want to get fouled.

  • http://www.slamonline.com peter

    Kobe was working Ray Allen last night like a little child. Too big a deal was made of the first game…Boston shot 60% for the game! which more often than not results in a win no matter who the other team is.

  • http://www.redraidersports.com Nicolas Fleming

    When all is said and done, the ’96 class will have put 4 players in the hall of fame, and my Mavericks took Samaki Walker.

  • http://www.slamonline.com jumpman3224

    @KulchaKris: If we’re just speculating, maybe Kobe needed that failure at the highest level to accomplish what he has since. Sometimes great athletes reach epic lows (trial, losing in the finals, Phil and Shaq leaving) before they have the wearwithall to reach ultimate heights.

  • T-Money

    Why does Melo want to get traded again? I mean, this must not have nothing to do with basketball because Denver’s actual legit team!

  • http://www.slamonline.com jumpman3224

    @Nicolas Fleming: Four for sure. I also think Big Ben (undrafted in 1996) gets in.

  • http://www.redraidersports.com Nicolas Fleming

    @Kris, I agree. But that situation wasn’t going to work with Shaq and Kobe. The talent level on that team should have guaranteed the Lakers rings for a decade, but Shaq at the end of his prime not wanting to pass the torch to Kobe who was just entering his peak was going to falter at some point. And those growing pains KB suffered after the departure of Shaq and Phil made him a totally different player. Your top guy is going to sometimes take over the game and sometimes that will hurt the team, but often times that’s why he is your top guy. I say his career could have been different, but he would be remembered more like Scottie Pippen and less like “Mamba”

  • http://www.nba.com/celtics lightsout

    @peter: so you’re saying the first game didn’t matter/wasn’t an accurate yardstick because boston shot 60%? i don’t get that logic. doesn’t boston shooting 60% say a lot about each team?

  • tRay

    @lightsout exactly lol he must be a mindless Laker fan I mean I’m a Laker fan but I can admit when someone shoots 60% and kicks my a$$

  • http://www.slamonline.com Jahmai

    @Eboy, don’t do it to yourself man, seriously, just enjoy Kobe even though he has his flaws, he’s still elite but we all know he’s not getting younger. I didn’t appreciate/enjoy LeBron until 2008/09 and I realize how stupid I was and know I’m stuck watching highlight films from his rookie year until 2008 and I’m just punching myself in the face for all those years I dind’t watch most and enjoyed his games. Don’t wait until Kobe retires to apreciate him.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Jahmai

    Back to the games, I loved it when Kobe held the ball in the final minute with Ray defending him at midcourt and Ray tried to make a move on the ball and Kobe just shook his head, like Uh uh, I’m going to wait a little longer and stick this clutch jumper in your face.

  • T-Money

    the footwork on kobe’s last jumper over ray allen was superb. ray was so shook that he wasn’t even able to jump and contest the shot.

  • MUBWAR

    It’s hard to appreciate this Kobe when the Kobe of ’05 to 08 is still fresh in our memories. Remember that 63 he dropped on the Mavs in 3 q or the strings of 40 plus games he had.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    I appreciated /bald headed/little fro Kobe from 96 to 2000. I began to hate him in 2003. There’s no turning back now.

  • http://www.gmx.net Darksaber

    Freaking Mavs, unnecessary tight wins against Cavs and Kings then get into a shoot-it-out with one of the teams in the L that just lurrrves to score. Before the injuries, Mavs 4th qtr D was fantastic and execution was much smoother.
    Lately, not so much.
    Cardinal, Peja and Mahinmi sure as hell aren’t scaring anyone come playoff time. The PG rotation sans Roddy seems to be working out well so far, but the SF/SG situation is a biiig problem now. Especially on D.

  • http://www.slamonline.com KulchaKris

    Nicolas, are u saying it wasn’t possible for Kobe to advance his career to top 5 of all time, instead of top 10?

  • http://www.redraidersports.com Nicolas Fleming

    I say that he doesn’t go out and score 81 if he is not taking over games. I say 40 point outbursts aren’t really his thing. People wouldn’t realize the greatness he had in him and would look at him more as a piece of a great team than great, himself. But that’s the casual NBA fan, the masses, I think he would have been highly debated by SLAM-type people, but the Bryant brand would be nothing like it is today. But that’s taking a lot of paths down a lot of theories that begin, “if.” So, I guess what I’m saying is depedning on the road traveled Kobe could do what he did and be where he is, taken a backseat to Shaq for another 6 years and be the best No. 2 option ahead of Scottie, or a combination of the roads and end up who knows where in NBA history…

  • http://www.slamonline.com KulchaKris

    I hear you, Nicolas. A lot of “ifs” and “buts”. I was watching the career retrospective videos on NBA.com recently. I think people forget just how good a player Kobe was in his prime. Or, maybe they choose to forget because they dislike him.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Jahmai

    @Eboy, so.. when he was coming up and had the attitude you appreciated him but when he entered his prime you hated him. Because of Colorado or Shaq?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Just to name two of about a dozen, yes.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Kobe career ended up best, by the 04 Finals lost, trail and Shaq/Phil breakup. I was glad when Shaq left, because Kobe got a chance to just play and ball. MJ got to do that at the beginning of his career and put up great numbers. Kobe came into a system where the Coach would hardly play him at first, then he was behing a pretty good player in Eddie Jones. Kobe one man show was great to watch for 3 years. Kobe won as leader of team 2 rings and got 3 rings as co leader and took over alot of 4th qtrs when Shaq was in foul trouble or Phil wouldn’t let him touch ball, because of his poor free throw shooting. Kobe career worked out great and he still can get more rings. Some of yall don’t understand, Kobe has worked very hard to be in this position he is in, so don’t hate/appreciate. All this team basketball stuff is crap, MJ shot his team out of games and won his team games every year, please check stats in some of his big games. BOOK IT!!

  • http://Slamonline.com Sergio

    I really wish Eboy respected Kobe! GTFOH!

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Sergio, you seem to have anger issues.

  • T-Money

    Some revisionit history there, The Seed. Kobe wasn’t a co-leader of the first 3 titles. Shaq was the man and that was widely acknowledged by everybody. He has the 3 Finals MVP to prove it. And you make it seem like Kobe would have done what MJ did early in his career if only he had gotten the minutes… Kobe was not ready when he came to the league, he was a gangly HS kid. And MJ posted 32.5-8-8 at 25 years old. Kobe couldn’t average those assist numbers in his wildest dreams. Cmon now.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Kobe Bryant has never once read any of the books that Phil Jackson hands his players every year. That doesn’t sound like a big deal but think about that, the captain of Phil Jackson’s teams openly ignores him, and doesn’t take all of his motivational techniques seriously. I wonder if that has any effect on the rest of the team

  • http://www.redraidersports.com Nicolas Fleming

    Money, you think the Lakers win without Kobe? He was just as important to that team as Shaq and Phil were. And 25 was early into MJ’s career. KB had been in the L for 7 years when he was 25. And then go look at career assist numbers for 23 and 24.

  • reflex

    Sergio, Eboy’s a hater, & haters’ gonna hate. It’s the circle of life

  • roman

    Im starting to think eboy is that chick Kobe banged in Colorado- u still hatin’ after you got paid!!!!!! Sucks to be a Denver fan with all that drama.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    And who are you roman, Vanessa?

  • http://www.redraidersports.com Nicolas Fleming

    nbk, he says that and I think he makes light of Phil’s techniques, but honestly, you know he reads those books and you know he takes it all serious.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Uhm no, why would he lie? You don’t know any of that, its like assuming Kobe is a good person or a good captain or whatever just because he’s your favorite player. ew, and btw, Eboy didn’t say a thing about Kobe’s basketball skill, he’s not hating on him as a player. No need to get all defensive about Kobe, its not like your obvious admiration will change anyones opinion.

  • http://www.redraidersports.com Nicolas Fleming

    He would lie because it makes him look like he doesn’t care, more credible, less of a nerd, more rebel. And who got defensive?

  • JTaylor21

    Mia needs to take a page out of the Laker’s defensive playbook for how to guard the celts. Have DWade guard Rondo the exact same way Kobe did, have either chalmers or house be the one chasing around Ray Ray on those screens and curls and have Wade go hard at Ray on the offensive end. All those things accomplish something; it saves DWade’s legs for the offensive end and it potentially can put Ray in foul trouble, once you do that Bos biggest offensive weapon is out of the game, making it that much easier to guard them. Hopefully, Coach Spo has at least some ounce of knowledge and does the same.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    He’s a professional athlete, role model, and his public image actually matters. Those are reasons a 14 year old who wants to be known as the “bad guy” doesn’t listen to his HS coach. And not you, you didn’t get defensive my fault, I read Roman & Sergio’s comments I thought one of them was from you.. my bad man

  • http://www.redraidersports.com Nicolas Fleming

    You’re good. Honestly, I guess I would just like to believe the non-chalant way Kobe writes off Phil is just a front. Maybe that’s wishful thinking, but when I saw the thing about the books it, as often the case with Kobe, looked forced. Great talent, love his game, like to think he would respect one of the greatest basketball minds a little bit more. But then again, I guess that’s why we shouldn’t build people up to something they aren’t.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Kobe was nearly as important as Shaq to those three titles. Remember in 2001 when he destroyed the Spurs for the entire series? Or against the Pacers when he took over in overtime the game Shaq fouled out?
    He also killed the Lakers by chucking against the Pistons in 2004.
    His career is his career. Any reasonably objective person can see how much he has achieved. Everything else is just noise.

  • JTaylor21

    Kobe has accomplished a lot of things in his career and is a Top-15 player of all-time but any resonably objective person would have a hard time putting him in the Top-10.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I agree Nicolas, I mean I honestly hope he atleast got the gist of the books, or tried to understand the theory or message behind what Phil was trying to relay. My main issue with Kobe’s statements, true or false, is that he is (possibly) misleading guys like Andrew Bynum, who is only 23 into not buying into what Phil Jackson is selling. And if he is not going to fully by into what the ZenMaster is teaching, what makes us think he will listen to anyone else? Its just a concern, and Kobe at this stage in his career, is probably the most influential basketball player, to other players, and aspiring players in the world. From a mental, competitive standpoint that is.

  • http://www.redraidersports.com Nicolas Fleming

    Jtaylor, then I guess Michelle Beadle, Holly MacKenzie, Chris Webber, Mark Spears, Ben Osborne, Bill Simmons, Timmy Hardaway, Skip Bayless and Scoop Jackson are not reasonably objective people?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    There’s two people on your list who wouldn’t be considered “reasonably objective”. One of them has very little basketball clout too.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Skip Bayless, you brought up Skip Bayless? lol come on now, have you ever heard that guy speak?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    And Michelle Beadle’s basketball opinion is just about as important as Barack Obama’s March Madness Bracket

  • JTaylor21

    And Bill Simmon’s basketball opinion is just about as important as George Bush’s SAT score.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Sergio

    Talk basketball E. Just Basketball. The Heat, Lakers, Boston, and Spurs are great. It has been one of the best seasons in a long time. Respect that.

  • T-Money

    Are we seriously discussing whether Kobe reads Phil’s hand-me-downs LIKE WE HAVE ANY FREAKING INSIGHT ON THIS?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    uhm we were discussing Kobe’s comments not so much whether we know what Kobe does with his spare time.

  • http://www.redraidersports.com Nicolas Fleming

    Lol, I just took names off the article that Scoop wrote a little while back where he asked a bunch of people if Kobe was top 10.

  • vtrobot

    Holly is objective when it comes to the Lakeshow?

  • http://nobulljive.com/ Enigmatic

    Michelle Beadle? Word?

  • JTaylor21

    And Skip Bayless’ basketball knowledge is abot as credible as Hosni Mubarak’s word.

  • http://www.slamonline.com jumpman3224

    @jtaylor21: I assume that we all think of SLAM as reasonable and objective (if not, this would be a bad venue to glean basketball insights) and they listed Kobe as #12 all-time. That was 2 titles and 2 Finals MVP ago. The players directly ahead of him were Baylor and Jerry West. You can’t tell me that Kobe hasn’t at the very least passed both of them in the last two years. Also, nbadotcom’s Race to the MVP today discusses Kobe as the greatest 1 time MVP winner ever, which would put him ahead of Shaq, the Big O and Hakeem. I think plenty of reasonable and objective people have him in the top 10.

  • Logan

    Don’t Hate. Appreciate.

  • 2dope

    Can’t say enough positive staements about Ray. The dude is a straight class act and a model ambassador for the game. Much love. Congrats.

  • JTaylor21

    Jump, there’s no way in hell you rank Kobe ahead of Shaq, Hakeem, and Oscar. Hakeem was dominant for a longer period of time, Shaq dominated 3 straight finals like no one in history and Oscar’s all around numbers will never be surpassed. Those guys were dominant players from day one while it took Kobe a couple of years.

  • JTaylor21

    Also Hakeem’s the greatest two-way player of all-time, so I have a hard time putting someone who doesn’t have the same kind of impact on the defensive end above him.

  • http://www.slamonline.com jumpman3224

    @jtalor21: I really don’t want to take anything away from any of those guys. But, SLAM (again assuming you believe they are credible) had Kobe ahead of Hakeem back in 2009 before his most recent two titles and finals MVPs. So there is precedent for that. As far as Big O and Shaq, Kobe has as many titles as they have put together. He has played in the NBA finals 1 out of every two years in his career (which no one ever mentions and is crazy), won as many MVPS and ASG MVPs as each of them and is a far greater defensive player than both. So to me I think he at the least in that group, if not ahead. I’d be interested to know who is in your top 10, if KB24 doesn’t make the cut?

  • http://www.slamonline.com jumpman3224

    @jtaylor21: Hakeem was dope, no doubt. But, let’s not forget Kobe is one of the all-time greatest defensive guards as evidence by the fact that he has made the all-defensive team more than any guard, ever. So I don’t see that as a huge win for the dream over the mamba.

  • http://www.slamonline.com jumpman3224

    You could easily make the arguement that in the post Jordan/Hakeem era, Kobe is the greatest 2-way player.

  • JTaylor21

    Jump, I agree that Kobe’s ahead of West and Baylor.
    Here’s my Top.10:
    1.Kareem
    2.MJ
    3.Magic
    4.Wilt
    5.Russell
    6.Hakeem
    7.Big O
    8.TD
    9.Bird
    10.Shaq
    Kobe would come in the next 5 along with Zeke, West, Baylor, and Malone.

  • http://www.slamonline.com KulchaKris

    Jump, I have to disagree with your use of the all-defensive team as a measure of a player’s defensive prowess. Many players make the all D team on reputation, even after their deefensive skills/effort is no longer what it used to be. Kobe falls into that category. Interesting list, JT. TD better than Bird, and Shaq?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I’m sorry but aside from mainstream media why is Kobe such a superior defender to shaq and oscar? Because he got awards? And your not going to seriously use the fact that he has 5 championships as your reason he is better then those two? Like he won them himself? Or was even the best player for half those titles? Sh*t its arguable he was only the best player in the finals once. And lets also point out that he has had ZERO success without Phil Jackson and another All Star, ZERO. Shaq on the other hand left kobe, played with a (according to most) still inferior player (and its been 5 years) Dwyane Wade and won a title. If Shaq is not considered top 10, better then kobe in terms of dominance, then he is the most underrated player of all time. And if Kobe gets more credit for these titles then Phil Jackson, then Phil Jackson is the most underrated coach of all time.

  • JTaylor21

    Jump, I tend to place more value on center’s defensive impact than a guard’s. Also ignore those all-defensive teams for a second and watch both players defend, anyone who watched Hakeem play, saw him erase many of his teammates’ mistakes on the defensive end and sent more shots back than Lindsay Lohan at happy hour. @Kulcharis, yes TD over Shaq and Bird based on his defensive abilities and for winning chips with lesser talented teammates.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Hakeem Olajuwan is clearly to anyone who has watched both careers, more dominant and effective on both ends of the court then Kobe Bryant. Kobe has put in years of work, and to those that value titles like they are individual awards has earned a reputation as better, but in terms of oncourt production and real defensive play Olajuwan was clearly better. (All Defense is a crappy measuring stick by itself, DPOY and DPOY voting is a better barometer, but neither should be used by themselves IMO)

  • http://www.slamonline.com jumpman3224

    @KulchaKris: That’s very true, but it is also all we have to go off of. Anything anyone says about a defender other than that and bpg, spg is subjective. But, I do give him kudos for still being a good defender. Doc Rivers said it was Mamba’s defense last night that won the game.
    @nbk: 1. Awards and statistics are the only way of objectively saying who is a better defender than another player. Shaq made the all-defensive team just three times (each on second team). Kobe has made it 10 times. I would be interested in any facts you could provide that would highlight how Big O or Shaq were better defenders than Kobe.
    2. I never said better. I’m talking Greater. And yes, team success is a huge part of that. To me greatness is a combination of talent, individual accomplishment and team success. Everyone in that lofty group has multiple titles (except West and Big O) and nobody won them alone (save for maybe Hakeem in 94). Kobe’s five rings and seven finals appearences is epic, no matter how you slice it. He was either player 1 or 1A on each of those teams.
    3. I’m not taking anything away from PJAX, but the fact that he was the coach shouldn’t take anything away from Kobe. It doesn’t hurt MJ in the record books.

  • http://www.slamonline.com KulchaKris

    Nbk, I didn’t see much of Oscar’s play, but correct me if I am wrong, was Oscar ever considered a top flight defender? In my opinion, Shaq was a good defender, but not a great one, and he often did not give the defensive effort one would expect, even in his prime. Kobe was (at one point) a superior, game changing perimeter defender. Not so much now, but check out some footage of his play during the 3-peat years.

  • JTaylor21

    TD not Kobe, in my opinion is the greatest two-way player of the post MJ/Hakeem era.

  • http://www.slamonline.com jumpman3224

    @NBK: Also, you point out that Kobe has never had success without another All-Star. Pau Gasol managed to make 1 all-star team before teaming with Kobe in LA. Shaq has also had 0 success without another all-star. That is part of winning, having multiple talent players.

  • http://www.slamonline.com jumpman3224

    @JTaylor21: Hard to argue with Duncan, but IMO Kobe has sustained those levels of greatness over a slightly longer period both offensively and defensively and was a superior offensvie player. I have no gripe with TD tho. Also, I’m not taking away from Hakeem’s prowess, just pointing out that Kobe is also an all-time great on the defensive end.

  • http://www.slamonline.com KulchaKris

    People love to use “he had Shaq” as a means of belittling Kobe as a player. In 1992, the Chicago Bulls won 57 games and the ‘ship. In 1993 (while MJ was hitting his body weight in AAA), the Bulls won 55 games, and lost in the ECF. So, either MJ was only worth 2 regular season wins, or that team was d@mn good, even without him. No player, no matter how great, can carry a team to the ‘ship on his own.

  • JTaylor21

    Jump, Kobe is not on Hakeem’s level on the defensive end, he was a great defender but those all-defensive selections tend to be a false representation of who’s really a great defender. For those who doubt or don’t know just how dominant Hakeem was need to go check out some old vids. I saw him dominate a great celtic front-line in the 86 finals at young age of 24 and destroyed two all-time great centers in the playoffs (DRob and PEwing). When was the last time Kobe shutdown a great player on the defensive end? There’s a reason why the lakers went out and got artest last year.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Shaq was the best player on all 3 laker title teams, Kobe was great but please if you watched you know, he didn’t have the defensive attention of a Michael Jordan/Shaquille O’Neal at the time, because one of them was on his team, which gave him a lot of freedom. I am not taking anything away from Kobe, I’m being realistic, his overall success is great, but its pretty fair to say McGrady would have had the same success next to Shaq, LeBron, & Wade (which is proven) also. If you can’t subjectively look at the circumstances that lead to his accomplishments then this conversation is pointless. Its like looking at raw data and deducing an unrelated fact out of it. For instance, if we used titles as our main measuring stick for success do you know who the greatest player of all time would be? Discounting Olajuwan for not having as many titles while completely ignoring that he played during the Jordan era is a fallacy in and of itself, same goes for Shaq, even though he has 4 titles, its hard to say how many he would have had if there was no Jordan, Duncan, or Olajuwan who by many standards are all considered better players, and each played during Shaq’s career.

  • http://www.slamonline.com jumpman3224

    @JTaylor21: I am not taking away from Hakeem or even saying that he and Kobe were on-par just that they are both in the group of all-time great defenders. Was Hakeem greater? Sure. Is it apples to apples? No. Hard to compare a guard and center. Like you said, YOU place more importance on a center’s defensive impact than a guards, which is fine. But, dont debate against me a point that I am not making.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Kobe has largely dominated an NBA transition period, whether you want to acknowledge it or not. He is probably 9 or 10 on my all-time list (Jordan-Magic-Russel-Jabar-Chamberlain-Bird-Shaq-Hakeem-Kobe/Oscar) but putting him over Shaq and Hakeem is crazy IMO

  • JTaylor21

    Jump, alright that’s cool but when you say kobe’s an all-time defender that must mean that you rank him right up there with other great perimeter defenders like GP, Pip, and MJ even with guys like ARobertson and SMoncrief. I have a hard time believe that he’s just as good as those guys were on the defensive end.

  • http://www.slamonline.com jumpman3224

    @nbk: Shaq was the best player on that team, no doubt. But, Kobe was the defensive stopper and closer (hence 1A). McGrady would’ve not had the same success, because he never had Kobe’s heart, work ethic or defensive prowess. Also, Kobe has led a team of which he was the best player to the finals 4 times (04, 08, 09, 10). So it’s not like he was a second bannana his whole career. Also, I think you mean, “If you can’t look objectively” not “subjectively” and if that’s the case. It’s all subjective. Just like your Olajuwon point, does he get a pass in the title count because he played when Jordan played? IDK, but that is a subjective question.

  • http://www.slamonline.com jumpman3224

    @JTaylor21: Fair enough. In terms of guards, I def. rank him top 5, but not ahead of GP or MJ.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    04 he led them to a loss, Shaq left, and won a title with an “inferior” player. So that 04 should speak for itself, especially considering Shaq and the Heat beat that exact same Pistons team that beat the Lakers (with kobe as its “best player”) – yeah objectively my fault, typing faster then i’m thinking

  • http://www.slamonline.com jumpman3224

    @nbk: No worries. We could both and forth on this all weekend, but the crux of it is that Kobe and Shaq are both top-ten all-time and their placement is a matter of personal preference based how an individual internalizes and grades their laundry list of accomplishments. Have a good weekend.

  • http://www.slamonline.com jumpman3224

    *go back and forth

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    glad to discuss it, you to tato

  • http://www.slamonline.com jumpman3224

    @nbk, I did remember one last point that I wanted to make in the eternal Shaq-Kobe debate. Shaq did make it to the Finals one other time as the man and lose (95). So Shaq as “The Man” in the Finals 3-1 and as the secondary player 1-1. Kobe as “The Man” 2-2 and as the secondary player 3-0. Hard to say who that argument favors. Shaq obviously has the better record as the main guy, but Kobe has a better overall record, more rings and more appearences. Oh well, they will go down as always linked anyways. Have a good one.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    that’s fair, Shaq was “the man” on that Heat team though, Dwyane just took over that 4 game stretch in the finals. But i’ll give you that

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    kobe was never a superior defender. at his best, he was great at funneling people to shaq. after shaq left, kobe gave little attention to defense as he was consumed with carrying the scoring load.
    all defense is the worst measuring stick for defensive prowess in the game. the worst. Hakeem locked up ever dominant center of his era in head to head matchups. every, single one. kobe is nowhere near hakeem’s level on defense, and while Kobe is slightly superior on offense, the gap is not large.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    If Kobe was the defensive stopper on those Lakers’ teams, why was Tyrone Lue guarding Allen Iverson? Why didn’t Kobe lockup Richard Hamilton or Chauncey Billups? Why didn’t he lock up Manu or Tony Parker? Or Jason Kidd? Kobe was a good defender. Nothing more, nothing less. Shaq made him look good, and then once Shaq left, Kobe’s reputation got him on all defensive teams. Who did Kobe “lock up” when the Lakers played the Suns? Come on people.

  • paul

    Let’s face it, we won’t see either LA or Boston in the finals.

  • http://www.gmx.net Darksaber

    Holly is objective?

  • http://slamonline.com The Ambassador

    KOBE BRYANT IS GOING TO GO DOWN AS ONE OF THE TOP TEN GREATEST NBA PLAYERS OF ALL TIME!!! IF HE NEVER GOT TRADED TO THE LAKERS I BET HE WOULLD HAVE WON THE ROY AND WOULD BE AVERAGING LEBRON TYPE STATS. THE PAST IS THE PAST AND IM GLAD IT HAPPENED TO GO TO COURT ADMITT ON HAVING AN AFFAIR,SPLIT A TEAM APART AND THEN GO ON AND BEAST IT ON THE COURT AND NOT QUIT WHEN EVERYONE IS HATING ON YOU IS BEAST!!! KOBE BRYANT IS THAT PLAYER THAT HAS GREAT STATS BUT WHEN COMPARING THEM TO OTHER GREAT PLAYERS STATS MABYE FALLS SHORT A COUPLE OF POINTS,REBOUNDS,OR ASSIST BUT IF YOU ACTUALLY SEEN HIM PLAYED THROUGHOUT HIS CAREER YOU WOULD KNOW HE WAS BETTER THAN SOME OF THE OTHER GREATS. BOOK IT!!!

  • vtrobot

    how about the duncan stat that since he joined the spurs, they’ve only been the winningest team in all american sports? i know that pop, etc. deserve some credit, but i think the dude has a pretty serious positive impact. @ paul: finals will be BOS/SAS.

  • sam

    No one pays attention to us, so let’s question everyone else’s credibility! Yay!

  • Kadavour

    1) Try to discredit all-defensive teams how much you want, but fact is, it is selected by the coaches and they have a perspective of the games and it’s players that stats and outside-the-league prognostication and analysis doesn’t. Kobe’s record selections reflect maintenance of a standard of excellence over an unprecedented period of time.
    2) TD came into the league to play along side David Robinson, Sean Elliot, and Avery Johnson. Top flight talent across the board. Part 2 of Duncan’s career feature GINOBLI!!!! and Tony Parker as wingmen. Not bad, not bad at all. Duncan has had the support of All-Stars every year. I don’t see anyone holding this against him.
    3) How many titles did Jordan win without Phil? Without Pippen? This point has been made though, it just seems to be selectively forgotten time and again
    4) Miami 05-06 was Dwayne’s team.
    5) How much success can one expect out of Kwame Brown/C Mihm, Lamar Odom, Devean George, and Smush Parker in the starting line up? How many of those guys are still in the league? Last i saw of Smush he was shooting (and making) balls over the fence at the Cage from the sidewalk.

  • Kadavour

    if Doc (some credit Tibbs, but his team still plays the best defense) says a man’s defense won the game, that HAS to mean something. Instead you look at the boxscore and try to trace blocks and steals, but these intangibles just won’t appear there.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    The NBA All-Defensive 1st Team is a joke. You’d be better off looking at the 2nd Team for the league’s best defenders.

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