Kobe Bryant is a rare combination of a guy who has been at an All-Star level for a long time — this was his 14th year — and a guy who is always ready to compete. Even in a meaningless exhibition he will need to show his dominance (hence the four All-Star Game MVPs).
Which explains this — with a third-quarter dunk, Kobe Bryant passed Michael Jordan to score the most points in NBA All-Star Game history (now at 266 and counting).
If you know Kobe, you know he savors passing Jordan in anything. By the way, Kareem Abdul-Jabar is third with 251 points in 19 All-Star Games.
Congratulations are due to Kobe. It speaks to his longevity as an elite NBA player. It speaks to his skill. It speaks to him not taking a night off and liking to put on a show.
Nets’ national anthem singer kneels to finish performance
NEW YORK (AP)— The national anthem singer at the Brooklyn Nets’ home opener took a knee at the end of her performance.
Justine Skye was nearing the completion of the song Friday night when she went to one knee for the finish. There were some cheers, but appeared to be more boos from the crowd at Barclays Center to see the Nets play the Orlando Magic.
NBA players have continued to stand during the playing of the anthems, as required by league rule.
Mavericks’ rookie guard Dennis Smith Jr. misses game with knee swelling
This was more of what fans expected from Lonzo Ball.
After a rough first game against the Clippers — with Patrick Beverleyin his face all night — Ball found plenty of room to operate against the soft defense of the Phoenix Suns. With room to operate Ball had 29 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists — just one assist short of a triple-double. He helped the Lakers pull away to a lead in the third then hold on for a 132-130 win over the Suns.
Ball wasn’t terribly efficient, 12-of-27 shooting, but he was 4-of-9 from three, he played with great pace, he was decisive, and was finding guys with his passes. It was a step forward, even if it was against a sad defense (Eric Bledsoe can be a good defender, but he has seemed disinterested in recent years).
Ball and the Lakers are going to be up and down this season, the goal is for there to be more ups near the end of the season.
LeBron James rejects Giannis Antetokounmpo at the rim