Anyone not think Tim Brady is the best NFL QB ever?

Anyone not think Tim Brady is the best NFL QB ever?

Heads up sports fans… I’m back! Apologies for the rather long break, life sometimes gets in the way of being able to write about the most glorious thing in the world… sport!

And what better time to get back into blogging than by writing a little about arguably the greatest Super Bowl ever, the 34-28 overtime comeback by the New England Patriots over the Atlanta Falcons. There was no chance that the final score was going to become reality after Tevin Coleman scored to make the score 28-3 with 8:31 remaining in the 3rd quarter. But I should know better, after all it was Tom Brady on the other team.

Now I know what you’re saying. How can a team that was able to sack Brady 5 times, intercept a pass for a touchdown and force a fumble that led to a turnover be unable to stop New England from making this a contest? Couple of reasons… Firstly, it’s Tom Brady! We’ve seen this guy do incredible things time and again on the football field so who’s to say it won’t happen again. Secondly, when your defence has been out on the field chasing Brady and his merry band of offensive puppets for a total of 93 plays (Atlanta ran 46) and a total time of 51:36 (Atlanta had the ball for 23:24) it takes a tremendous toll on your body. For those who watched the entire game it was clear to see that the Falcon’s rush had disappeared in the 4th quarter and overtime as Brady found himself with plenty of time to pick out the receiver of this choice and march his team down the field at will.

tom-brady-draft-day
Who knew this guy would become the G.O.A.T.?

For those that have been missing my ability to saturate these blogs with stats, here are a few to tie you over for a while…

  • Brady becomes the only QB in NFL history with 5 Super Bowl wins, surpassing Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw who each have 4.
  • Brady set a Super Bowl record by throwing 62 pass attempts, breaking the record previously held by Jim Kelly who threw 58 for the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXVI.
  • Brady broke his own record of 37 by completing 43 passes, also impressive was his 69.4% completion percentage.
  • Brady set a single game record for passing yards with 466 eclipsing the mark set by Kurt Warner in Super Bowl XXXIV of 414 yards.

Add to this the career Super Bowl records Brady holds already which he has added to…

  • Career Super Bowl pass attempts – 309, second is Peyton Manning with 155.
  • Career Super Bowl passes completed – 207, second is Peyton Manning with 103.
  • Career Super Bowl passing yards – 2,071, second is Kurt Warner with 1,156.
  • Career Super Bowl passing TD’s – 15, second is Joe Montana with 11.

Not to make this blog too nerdy with stats but think about these…

  • Tom Brady now has a 5-2 record in the Super Bowl.
  • Apart from the New England Patriots there are only 3 other NFL franchises with as many as 5 Super Bowl victories (Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Dallas).
  • There are only 3 other NFL franchises with as many as 7 Super Bowl appearances (Pittsburgh, Dallas and Denver).

Not bad for a guy taken with the 199th pick of the 2000 NFL Draft, makes you wonder what the New York Jets were thinking taking Chad Pennington with the 18th pick.

There will always be debate about who the top quarterbacks in NFL history are. Aikman, Montana, P. Manning, Favre, Brees… but there is only one Tom Brady who has shown that even at age 39 he can make ’em come to their feet and drop to their knees. And this is why he is the greatest quarterback in NFL history.

 

What does the 2016 NBA Finals mean for the legacy of LeBron James?

What does the 2016 NBA Finals mean for the legacy of LeBron James?

His accolades speak for themselves… 4 time MVP, 2 time NBA Champion, 2 time NBA Finals MVP, 2 time All Star Game MVP, NBA Rookie of the Year, etc. Add to that career averages of 27.2 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 6.9 apg and 1.7 spg (only Larry Bird average 20/6/6/1.5 over a career) and you have the resume of an all time great.

But the 2-4 record in the NBA Finals was something that pretty much everyone was holding against him. He can’t get it done in the big moments, he can’t carry a team to a title… it’s all been said. Now, you can only say he’s a record breaker.

  • No NBA team had ever come back from a 3-1 hole in the NBA Finals. LeBron now has that achievement.
  • Only 3 teams had ever won the NBA Finals from being down 2-0. LeBron now joins that group.
  • Only 2 players had ever had a triple double in a Game 7 of the NBA Finals (Jerry West and James Worthy). LeBron now joins that group.
  • Only Magic Johnson (8) has had at least 7 triple doubles in NBA Finals history. LeBron now joins Magic with 7.
  • LeBron is the only player in NBA Finals history to lead all players in points, rebounds and assists per game. He has now done that twice (2015 and 2016).

I may be biased but to those that were hating on LeBron James for years… just sit back and watch. My favourite players of all time are Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, John Stockton and LeBron James. There’s something about the way that these guys play that is almost hypnotic, the way they are able to take over a game by getting their teammates involved, the way they control the game like a classical conductor.

LeBron James is the greatest player of this generation. That includes the likes of Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett. Some may have more titles and scored more points but none of them have the all round game of LeBron. That’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it.

Enjoy the celebration Cleveland, it’s been a LOOOOOOOOONG time coming!

 

 

 

Can Oklahoma City get by the Warriors? I say it’s already done…

Can Oklahoma City get by the Warriors? I say it’s already done…

As soon as the full time of Game 6 of the Western Conference semi-finals between Oklahoma City and San Antonio sounded, I was telling anyone who was talking about the playoffs (I’ll be honest… not many around me were!) that the Thunder would knock off the Golden State Warriors and reach the NBA Finals to take on Cleveland (come on, who’s really gonna pick the Raptors?!?).

The way the Thunder, and in particular Russell Westbrook, closed out the Spurs I couldn’t see how they would be beaten 4 games out of 7. I don’t think enough credit has gone to Billy Donovan for what he’s been able to get out of this group of players who have drastically underachieved for a few seasons now. With Westbrook playing like an MVP (and it took an historic season from Curry to deny him that award) next to the ever consistent Kevin Durant that look unstoppable. I’ve never been a huge Thunder fan but I love the way they’re playing right now.

Here are the facts that are positive for the Warriors…

  • Stephan Curry has 26 pts, 10 reb, 7 ast and 3 stl (does have 7 TO’s) and shoots 6-14 from 3 point range.
  • Klay Thompson has 25 pts, 9 reb and 4 ast while shooting 11-25 form the field including 3 from 3 point range.
  • Draymond Green has 23 pts, 5 reb, 4 ast 2 blk and 1 stl while shooting 9-20 from the field.
  • Combined the Warriors big 3 total 74 pts, 24 reb, 15 ast, 4 stl and 2 blk (regular season they combined to average 66 pts, 19 reb, 16 ast, 4.5 stl and 2 blk per game) so a pretty good game all things considered.

Now here are stats that don’t look good for the Thunder…

  • Kevin Durant shoots 10-30 from the field (33%, regular season 50.5%), 5-7 from the foul line (71%, regular season 89.8%) and had 5 turnovers (regular season 3.5).
  • Russell Westbrook shoots 7-21 from the field (33%, regular season 45.4%).
  • Enes Kanter has only 8 pts and 6 reb (regular season averaged 12.7 pts and 8.1 reb).

… and the Thunder still won the game… against the team with the best ever record for a single season… on the road!

Now it doesn’t mean they’ll win 4 in a row, they won’t even win every game at home. But the way they were able to hang on with their 2 superstars having an off night shooting the ball is a great sign. And the key is Westbrook… if he continues to pass the ball like he did against the Spurs and in this game, they’ll be booking a place in the NBA Finals.

Just remember who told you…

 

Who’s your favourite NBA player of all time… mine is Larry Bird.

Who’s your favourite NBA player of all time… mine is Larry Bird.

My first memories of the NBA are from the 1990 NBA Finals when the Detroit Pistons swept the Portland Trailblazers in 4 games to win their second straight NBA title. I then became a very big Isiah Thomas fan, someone who was a guard like myself who could take over a game at any time… unlike myself! I then became fascinated with the great point guards (Thomas, John Stockton etc), but the best of all time and my favourite PG ever was Magic Johnson. To be able to do what he could do at his size was video game like, and I couldn’t get enough of it. I purchased the Johnson video “Always Showtime” on VHS and wore it out, watching it over and over again much to the dismay of my mother! But I then felt I was cheating on Magic… I found a new NBA love.

Larry Bird has been connected to Magic Johnson since their epic NCAA title game in 1979. Since that day they met in the NBA finals 3 times with Magic’s Lakers winning in 1985 and 1987, Bird’s Celtics taking the crown in 1984. Even though “Always Showtime” was a video about Magic, Larry Bird was featured quite prominently. This is when he became my favourite NBA player of all time.

Larry-Bird-Magic-Johnson
Bird and Johnson met in the NBA Finals 3 times

I guess I saw a little of myself in Bird, a kid from the country who became consumed by basketball once it came into his life. Someone who would play on whatever court was free and stay for hours, whether it be with friends or by himself. Someone who wouldn’t care if it was stinking hot or pouring rain, there was always time to take some shots. Of course, I’m sitting here blogging about it while Bird went on to become one of the 10 greatest players in NBA history! But his story captivated me like no other athlete before or since.

I’ve owned 2 Larry Bird jerseys and would love to add either a 1992 Olympic jersey or an Indiana State NCAA jersey to my wardrobe (if my wife read this, she’d get the hint!). I’ve owned the Bird biographical movie “A Basketball Legend” (both on VHS and DVD) and have watched the 1992 game against Portland where he scored 49 points in a double OT classic more times than I can count. There are 2 things that endear me to Larry Bird… his overall story and the way he plays the game of basketball.

You always hear about pro athletes that overcome odds. Family tragedy, poor neighbourhood, trouble with the law etc etc. Larry Bird appeared to be someone who never sought out the spotlight. He was part of a family that battled to make end meet, giving him a work ethic that would help him reach the near immortal status he holds in the NBA community. A glowing testament to his reserved personality was walking away from one of the most prestigious college basketball programs (Indiana) and deciding on a small town college (Indiana State) that prior to Bird’s arrival had NEVER played in the NCAA tournament.

Bird then headed to the Boston Celtics, a franchise that had won 13 of the 30 NBA championships held since the 1949-50 season. So, needless to say, he had a little bit to live up to! So… how did he do?

  • 3 NBA titles
  • 3 consecutive MVP’s (only Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain have ever done that)
  • 2 time NBA Finals MVP (1984, 1986)
  • 9 time All-NBA first team
  • 12 time NBA All Star selection
  • Only player in NBA history to average at least 24 ppg, 10 rpg and 6 apg over a career
  • 1 of only 8 players to shoot at least 50% FG, 40% 3PT and 90% FT (only Bird and Steve Nash have done it at least twice)
  • Member of the Gold Medal winning 1992 US Olympic team
  • Inducted to the NBA Hall of Fame in 1998

Pretty well I’d say!

Bird HOF
Even at his Hall of Fame induction, Bird couldn’t escape the presence of Magic! Check Bird’s career statistics here

But for me, that only tells part of the story. As someone who has never been a one-on-one player I take pride and appreciate good team play. There weren’t many better games than watching Chicago and Utah in consecutive NBA Finals (1997 & 1998) where the ball would move as well as any team has in NBA history. With players like Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and John Stockton on the floor you were watching some of the greatest players ever and their ability to get their teammates involved was wonderful. The Golden State Warriors of the past 2 seasons are cut from a similar mould. Even though the individual brilliance of Stephen Curry is almost unparalleled, they rack up assist totals most current teams can’t match.

The best highlights I remember from any Larry Bird game are the terrific passes he would make to the likes of McHale, Parish, Johnson etc. Some have no right to even be tried let alone result in an easy hoop for the Celtics… but it happened time and time again. I like to think that the best part of my game is my passing (not much of a creative scorer!) and I have the great players like Bird to thank for that.

It’s almost sad that the game has become so reliant on the 3 point shot that players like Bird, so dependant on ball handling and fundamentals, are almost a thing of the past. All players want to do these days is to stand 23 feet from the hoop waiting for a pass. This is why I don’t hesitate to play my “A Basketball Legend” DVD whenever I feel a little nostalgic. And that is why Larry Bird is my favourite NBA player of all time.

The life of the modern day sport tragic!

So as you may have gathered, I’m a bit of a sport fan. There aren’t many sports I won’t take a look at or have a go at (I’ll elaborate further later on). But I thought I’d take this time to give you all a little insight into the man behind the love of sports. Also keep in mind that I grew up in a country town about 2 hours north of Melbourne, Australia so some sports won’t be all that common to a world audience.

I turned 38 in January and I’ve crammed quite a bit of aerobic and athletic activity in those years. When you have 2 parents that both played their share of sport, you don’t have much option but to follow in their footsteps. My father played golf and with Mum they both played tennis and badminton. Mum also played a rather unknown sport called Vigoro (trust me… it’s real! Check the proof here), we often took joy in mocking her for playing such a game that doesn’t seem to have seen the light of day in the last 50 years! In a nutshell it’s a mix between cricket and baseball… and for those keeping count, her top score was 62 not out!

badminton
Think badminton is boring and easy… watch this!

My earliest memory of playing sport was when I was about 8, playing badminton in the local church hall hitting a shuttlecock over a table. My wife has given me grief for almost 10 years saying that badminton isn’t a real sport, tell that to those that have played it at the Commonwealth Games! It took me all around the state until I was 17 and kept playing for many years after. People see the small court and think “it doesn’t look too difficult, not sure you’d work too hard”. My answer is “grab a racquet and get down the other end of the court, you’ll find out!”.

 

 

I also played tennis as a child until my mid 20’s, shouldn’t need to spend too much time explaining this one! I was lucky enough to play on grass courts as well as hard court which was a nice treat, not all towns in the area where I grew up had those facilities. I didn’t excel at tennis as highly as I did in badminton (my older brothers will love me saying that!) but I had more than enough competitive drive to compete at a reasonable level. Taking a day trip to watch the world’s best at the Australian Open was always a highlight, if you get the chance to take in a major tennis tournament you should definitely take it up.

By the time I began high school my curiosity for other sports grew, which led me to 2 other sports that would eventually occupy me up until this day. My father and 2 older brothers all played golf, naturally I followed suit. My first exposure to golf was to use my mother’s old clubs and bag (vintage at the time) but I was hooked. I joined at Mooroopna Golf Club as a junior and played there for about 13 years. My handicap got as low as 10 but could never get to single figures, another thing my brothers have over me! If you’re ever in the area you should take the time to play 9 or 18, I was there only a couple of months ago and the course is in sensational condition. I’ve since moved to Melbourne and have joined up at other courses where I was able to get my handicap down to… 8!!! If nothing else, I have my old man sport in my later years!

The other sport that I’ve continued for the last 25 years is basketball. From my prior blogs you’ll gather that I have quite a passion for it, it’s probably my favourite sport of all.

My first memory of watching any kind of professional game was the Christmas Day matchup of Chicago and Detroit in the 1990-91 season. Chicago were trailing until the second half when they ran over the top of the Pistons to win by 10. I also remember being at my grandmother’s house with my family for lunch and being utterly rude to everyone as I watched the 1991 NBA All Star Game in Charlotte. Pretty much from then I was hooked, playing and watching basketball when I could. And even as I write this I’m watching San Antonio blow out Oklahoma City in Game 1 of the Western Conference semi finals.

My friends and I put together a team and played for many seasons in our local competition. I even got to the point where I was picked to represent the area in a league, that only lasted for 2 games but still, pretty cool! Something about hearing your national anthem before you begin a game that gets you up… even though there might only be 20 people watching!

I them moved to Melbourne where I continued playing with my brother and some of his friends who had a regular game for years. We were quite good, making the finals most seasons and making a couple of Grand Finals. But like the Buffalo Bills of the 1990’s, we couldn’t get over the hump. I used to have quite the temper (my side doesn’t believe it but plenty of people have seen it first hand!), but as I’ve gotten older I’ve taken more and more enjoyment in the participation of sport and less caught up in the result. Don’t get me wrong, I love to win but I’m not going to break golf clubs and badminton racquets if I don’t.

What do I play now? I moved to a different suburb about 3 years ago and have played very little basketball since, but I’m about to start playing on and off which I’m looking forward to. I’m also playing golf now and then which I still enjoy as much as ever. If there’s anything you should take from this rambling version of a blog, it’s this… enjoy whatever it is you like doing and play it for the fun and enjoyment. There are too many things that life throws up without losing sleep over a missed free throw or a 3 putt from 10 feet.

Keep smiling and enjoy your sport!

The 2016 NBA Playoffs are here, time for award predictions!

The 2016 NBA Playoffs are here, time for award predictions!

After 82 games and countless memories (mostly provided by the Golden State Warriors) we arrive at the 2016 NBA Playoffs. Most are predicting that Warriors will repeat as champs, the main unknown will be who they will be facing (Cleveland look the favourite in the East right now). Until then, lets try to pick who will take out the annual regular season awards.

Most Valuable Player – Stephen Curry, Warriors

There’s very little that can be argued for anyone else OTHER than Curry, so I’m going to focus on what the Golden State point guard has done to give him his 2nd straight MVP…

  • 30.1 points per game (lead the NBA, up from 23.8 last season)
  • 2.1 steals per game (led the NBA, up from 2.0 last season)
  • 90.8% free throw shooter (led the NBA, 4th season of at least 90% shooting and ended the season the 3rd all time best shooter)
  • 45.4% 3 point shooter (2nd in the NBA, ended the season 2nd all time best shooter)
  • 50.4% field goal shooter (only the 2nd time in NBA history that a player 6’3″ or shorter shot over 50% and attempted at least 1,500 FG’s)
  • 402 3-point shots made (led the NBA, broke his own record for a single season by 116 made 3’s)

According to Basketball-Reference there have only been 31 instances of a guard/forward shooting better than 50% while attempting at least 1,500 field goal attempts. The thing that sets Curry apart is that of his 1,598 shots a crazy 886 were from deep (55.4%). To put that into perspective only 10 of the 31 times did a player take at least 100 3’s, as well as 8 having occurred before the advent of the 3 point line. My point is… Curry is a shooter of the likes we have never seen before, and I know they say records are meant to be broken but he averaged 5.1 made 3’s per game… the 73 wins the Warriors accumulated this season will be broken before the 402 made 3’s in a season.

I’ll finish with this… As I mentioned, Curry broke his own record for made 3’s in a season by 116 (or 40.5%). Consider what would be required to break the following records by that much from the other major sports.

  • NFL, Passing TD’s – Current record is 55, new record would be 78 or 4.9 per game over 16 games.
  • MLB, Home Runs – Current record is 73, new record would be 103 or 4.5 every 7 games over 162 games.
  • NHL, Points – Current record is 215, new record would be 303 or 3.7 per game over 82 games.

Most Improved Player – C.J. McCollum,Trailblazers

mccollum
McCollum increased his scoring from 6.8 to 20.8 per game in 2015-16.

Many experts have given this award to Curry as well, and based on the numbers you can make that case. But I think that’s getting a bit too greedy! Apologies do go to Draymond Green who had an amazing season, increasing almost every statistical category while only playing 3 more minutes per game.

I’ve gone with McCollum for his ability to take on a role as the starting shooting guard and manage the expectations that he and Damian Lillard were carrying with the departure of LaMarcus Aldridge. In 80 games (all starts) he averaged 20.8 ppg, 2.5 3’s per game (at 41.7%), 4.3 apg and 1.2 spg in 34.8 mpg. With their Portland starting backcourt responsible for over 43% of their total points McCollum and Lillard led the Trailblazers to the playoffs with a 44-38 record. If they are to continue to improve it will be with Lillard and McCollum leading the way with what I’m sure will be a very exciting brand of basketball.

Defensive Player of the Year – Draymond Green, Warriors

green
This energy is what makes Green such a dynamic defender, he’s 1 of just 9 players to have a 5 x 5 game since 1983.

I know, they’re known for their crazy free-wheeling style of offence. But they also know how to stop the opposition as well. As previously mentioned, Stephen Curry led the league in steals. Klay Thompson has developed as an above average perimeter defender. Andrew Bogut sat 12th in the league in blocks despite playing just 20.7 mpg. But there is nobody in the league that is as versatile and determined as Draymond Green.

His numbers are pretty good on their own… 9.5 rpg (13th in the NBA), 1.5 spg and 1.4 big. But it’s his ability to do whatever his team requires on the defensive end. Prior to Green’s emergence it was widely thought that LeBron James is probably the only player in the NBA with the ability to defend all 5 positions. He still may be able to, but Green does it with a passion and desire that even James doesn’t bring. If he’s out on the perimeter he’s up in the face of the guard, if he’s on the block he’s bodying the big man and keeping him from getting into the paint. Some people might think his bravado and exuberance is a sign of arrogance… most of us see an ultra-competitive buy who will do anything to help his team win. And when your teams goes 73-9 you’ve done more than your fair share.

Rookie of the Year – Karl-Anthony Towns, Timberwolves

Karl-Anthony Towns
This will surely be one of many accolades to come Town’s way during his NBA career.

When you’re taken as the #1 overall pick there is a certain expectation of you to perform at the next level. Towns met these and more as he put up some excellent numbers… 18.3 ppg, 10.4 rpg (8th in the NBA), 1.7 bpg (10th in the NBA) while shooting 54.3% from the field. In NBA history only Shaquille O’Neal and Tim Duncan have put up rookie numbers to match those, and we’d all say they ended up ok! I don’t think he’ll be the monsters that O’Neal and Duncan became but Towns is someone that Minnesota can build their future around. And with Andrew Wiggins and Ricky Rubio there as well, playoffs can only be a year or 2 away.

Coach of the Year – Steve Kerr/Luke Walton, Warriors

kerr walton
The brains trust behind the current Warriors dynasty in the making.

They won the most games in a single season in NBA history, they didn’t lose back to back games (first time ever), they started the season with 24 consecutive wins… and their head coach from the previous season wasn’t there for half the year! I give it to both Kerr and Walton ’cause without them they may not be going down as the greatest single season team ever. It’ll be a pity for the Warriors as well when Walton signs a big fat contract with another team to become their head coach for the 2016-17 season. But for this year, they are head and shoulders above anyone else.

Does Kobe’s 60 point farewell actually mean anything?

Does Kobe’s 60 point farewell actually mean anything?

Before I proceed, it should be pointed out that I believe Kobe Bryant to be one of the best basketball players ever. His record speaks for itself…

  • 3rd all time leading scorer in NBA history
  • 5 NBA Titles
  • 2 time NBA Finals MVP
  • 2007-08 NBA MVP
  • 18 NBA All Star Games (tied for most all time)
  • 12th all time in games played
  • Most seasons with 1 franchise (20)
  • 15th all time in steals
  • 3rd all time in field goal attempts
  • 5th all time in free throw attempts

… and they were the stats I had at hand! I will confess to saying Michael Jordan is the greatest player in NBA history but Bryant is certainly in the conversation for one of the greatest of all time.

Having said all of that, the way his final NBA game against the Utah Jazz played out was as farcical as the 2015-16 All Star Game that saw the West score 198 points (!). Many people have differing opinions on the game, but the stats speak for themselves.

  • 60 points (T-5th most in a game in his career)
  • 22 FG made (the fourth time in his career)
  • 50 FG attempts (most ever in his career)
  • 21 3PT attempts (most ever in his career), made 6.

To put into perspective, consider the following…

  • The 60 points is the most ever by a player aged 37 or older (since 1963-64).
  • Only 30 players since 1963-64 have made 22 field goals in a game, the oldest being Alex English at age 35 in 1989.
  • No player since 1983-84 has taken 50 field goal attempts, although Wilt Chamberlain did attempt 63 shots in his historic 100 point game in 1962.
  • Only J.R. Smith in 2014 with the New York Knicks has attempted more than 21 3 point field goals in a single game (he made 10) and Damon Stoudamire in 2005 with Portland has attempted as many as 21 in a game.
Bryant shooting.jpg
The many shots of Kobe Bryant throughout the years, see his final career stats here

I’ve watched 17 minutes of condensed highlights (thanks to NBA GamePass) and it was nothing more than passing the ball to Bryant and getting out of his way. The biggest thing I was impressed with was that he was able to play 42 minutes at age 37. There were numerous times where a Laker teammate had a relatively open shot, only to pass it up to a closely guarded Bryant. When he went to the basket he was fairly effective, hitting 55.2% of his 2 point field goals. But only 6 of 21 from behind the 3 point line (28.6%) just looks bad. No wonder it took him 50 field goal attempts (and 12 free throw attempts) to get 60 points.

My next opinion probably won’t be very popular, but that’s why this is my blog and my opinions. This game is going to be SOOOOO overrated because it was Bryant’s final game and he ended up scoring 60. You give at least half of the players in the NBA that many shots in a game and they’ll put up at least that many points. Think of the damage Steph Curry or Kevin Durant would do with 50 field goals including 21 3 point attempts and 12 free throws. Based on their season shooting percentages they would end up with 68 and 72 points respectively, so lets calm the farm on how amazing of a game Bryant had simply based on 60 points.

I’ll reiterate that I’m not an anti-Bryant follower of the NBA, he’s mesmerising to watch when he’s in a certain kind of mood. But this was reminiscent of that 100 point game by Wilt Chamberlain where the Knicks did everything they could to carry him to a historic night.  And it’s not to say it not a great effort, I think that when the entire team is only looking to give the ball to 1 player… well, you know my thoughts.