Posts Tagged With: Minnesota Timberwolves

Kobe Bryant: Like Mike or Better?

Associated Press

It’s almost ironic that the last post was about the Lakers’ decline and now I’m talking about Kobe Bryant surpassing the GOAT Michael Jordan as third in all-time scoring. Last night against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Bryant reached 32,293 points after making two free throws in the third quarter. The only people in front of him now are Karl Malone with 36,928 points and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar with 38,387. Bryant ended the game with 26 points, six rebounds and two assists in the 100-94 win over the Timberwolves.

I think everyone can recognize Bryant as one of the best to ever do it, but some have gone as far as to say he’s better than MJ. This, mostly coming from those who were born around the time Jordan was about to retire…well, the first time. Though I do fit somewhat in this category, I can’t say I agree. Michael Jordan┬átruly changed how basketball is played. He’s the standard when it comes to greatness. Today’s great, LeBron James, has been compared to Jordan on numerous occasions. Have there been comparisons between him and Bryant? Maybe, but most likely only when it came to who has a better chance of beating Jordan (see where this is going?).

The obvious thing to point out would be the number of rings each great has. It does have some validity to it, but it almost seems like such a basic argument at this point because it’s been used so much. Instead of pointing out Jordan has more rings, it’s better to look at the teams each had and how they impacted the sport. Both played with Hall of Famers, but Jordan was able to assemble his team more effectively than Bryant has (or likely will). As a result, he has the sixth ring, as opposed to Bryant’s five.

Jordan was also able to accomplish more in less time than Bryant, not to mention the fact that Jordan went to college. Bryant came into the league from high school, which would seem to give him a four-year advantage. But, the time Jordan spent at UNC developed him better and allowed him to be more prepared, thus making him better coming into the league. From there, Jordan was able to do things no one has ever done before. Players now, including Bryant, model their game after Jordan, but it’s doubtful anyone will surpass him as the GOAT.

This is not to take away from Bryant’s legacy as a player. After all, he is one of the top 10, if not top 5, player ever in the mind of many and certainly one of the greatest of this generation. But before saying he’s better than Jordan, take all things into account.

* Another interesting to point out was who Bryant was playing against for this milestone. Bryant has made mention of seeing huge potential in Andrew Wiggins, the Timberwolves rookie. He was taken in the first round in the 2014 NBA Draft and definitely has huge potential. The fact that Bryant said he sees himself in the young player speaks volumes to how he feels about him and his future. Only time will tell how everything will work out for Wiggins. But, mark it down now. Wiggins could very well be the greatest of the upcoming generation.

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Categories: basketball, NBA, Sports | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Shabazz Muhammad removed from NBA rookie program

Newly drafted forward Shabazz Muhammad was sent home from the annual NBA Rookie Transition Program Wednesday after having a female guest in his hotel room in Florham Park, N.J.

The incident occurred just hours after the rookies were given a list of rules. One of these rules was that all guests, male or female, had to be authorized by the program’s administration before being allowed to go into the rookies’ hotel rooms. Along with Muhammad being removed from the program, he will also have to pay a fine and come back next year to finish the program.

The Rookie Transition Program was originally set up to help incoming NBA players adjust successfully from the college level to the pros. It is a four-day program with seminars taught by current and former NBA players, NBPA and NBA staff as well as recruiting experts.

Muhammad is not the first player to get sent home from the program, however. In 2008, Mario Chalmers and Darrell Arthur were expelled from the program after women and marijuana were found in their rooms. Both were fined $20,000.

This is not the first time Muhammad has been in the spotlight. His freshman year at UCLA was filled with questionable actions. The first was when he was declared ineligible for receiving improper benefits. He later appealed and regained his eligibility. Later, reports claimed that Muhammad was actually a year older than he had reported.

All of this attention caused Muhammad to go from a projected number one pick to being the 14th draft pick, selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves.

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