Collison claims to be the fastest

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Hornets rookie point guard Darren Collison has come on strong in the last two months, to say the least. Collison averaged 21.6 points per game and 8.3 assists per game during the month of February, and is currently averaging 16.1 points per game and 11.4 assists per game in March. Unfortunately for him, Collison probably burst onto the scene too late to take the Rookie of The Year trophy from prohibitive favorites Tyreke Evans and Stephen Curry. 

The UCLA product doesn’t seem to mind that, however, as he’s got his eyes on another title: The NBA’s Fastest Man. In a recent interview with HOOP Magazine (hat tip to Henry Abbott for the find), Collison said this regarding his speed: 
“I definitely think I’m the fastest player. I got a chance to watch Ty Lawson’s game and he is probably up there. I’d definitely say I’m the fastest.”

Speed with the ball is a whole different animal than speed without it, but just for kicks, Collison did edge Lawson by two hundredths of a second in the three-quarter court speed drill at the NBA combine, and Collison beat Lawson by a full half second in the agility drill. It’s almost impossible to know which of the two ultra-quick point guards is actually faster in actual game situations; all we can know for sure is that both of them are too quick for just about any opposing defender to stay in front of.  

Kobe Bryant says his age 37 is not like Michael Jordan’s age 37

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Once again, Kobe Bryant‘s career arc is being compared to Michael Jordan’s.

There’s a lot of reason’s that’s flawed — starting with Kobe being drafted on to a Lakers team that had Shaquille O’Neal and was already considered NBA elite, as opposed to Jordan working to build a franchise up. That said, Kobe has invited the Jordan comparison at times and it has been a constant through is career. Fair or not.

Kobe is coming back this fall after seasons of injury to the NBA and those comparisons continue — now to the Wizards’ version of Jordan. And Kobe is not at all fond of that, as he told Sam Amick of the USA Today.

“This is uncharted territory,” he said. “My 37 (years old) isn’t MJ’s 37 (when he returned after taking two seasons off to play for the Washington Wizards), you know what I mean? Nor is it the same team or the same system that he was playing in. It’s much, much different. There’s really no barometer, no (precedent) for training physically, for recovery. It’s uncharted territory.”

Kobe is right. Jordan had four+ seasons off by the time he was 37 and was not coming off multiple major surgeries.

Kobe is entering his 20th NBA season and what any real basketball fan should wish for him is health. Let him play one full season (with limited minutes and nights off), let him get to the final game of this season next April and make his own decision on his future. Let him leave the game on his own terms.

That said, if Kobe can average Jordan’s numbers at that age — 22.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game — it will be a major accomplishment, and the Lakers will have a better record than many of us expect.

And Kobe may want to play a 21st season as well.

Celtics ease to 124-91 win at Olimpia Milano in Global Games

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MILAN (AP) — The Boston Celtics eased to a 124-91 victory over Olimpia Milano at the Mediolanum Forum on Tuesday, comfortably winning the first of a double-header in Europe as part of the NBA Global Games.

Isaiah Thomas led the way for the Celtics with 18 points, including nine in his first seven minutes after coming off the bench midway through the first quarter.

Jared Sullinger added 14 points, as did Avery Bradley, who also had four three-pointers, while David Lee weighed in with 13 as well as seven rebounds and three assists.

Alessandro Gentile – who is reportedly wanted by the Houston Rockets, who hold NBA rights to the 22-year-old – top scored for Milano, with 19 points.

Next up for the Celtics is Real Madrid in Spain on Thursday.