Phoenix Suns v Los Angeles Lakers

Kobe Bryant becomes fifth player in NBA history to score more than 30,000 points (VIDEO)


As expected, Kobe Bryant joined Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Michael Jordan, and Wilt Chamberlain on Wednesday as the only players in NBA history to score more than 30,000 career points.

Bryant achieved the milestone with 1:16 left in the first half in New Orleans, by converting a right-handed floater in the lane over Hornets center Robin Lopez. (He finished with 29 and the Lakers won, 103-87.)

Bryant only needed 13 points coming in to get there, and made sure to do so by halftime against the team that originally drafted him in 1996. The Hornets then traded him to Los Angeles in exchange for Vlade Divac, which will unquestionably go down as the worst trade in NBA history.

Next up for Bryant will be to surpass Chamberlain at 31,419, and then Jordan at 32,292.

Kobe should pass Wilt sometime near the end of this season if he plays the bulk of the games and continues to average more than 27 points per game; he currently leads the league in scoring at 27.9 points per contest.

Stan Van Gundy rips ‘selfish’ Pistons

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The Pistons had just 19 assists – to 22 turnovers – in their 93-83 loss to the Nets last night.

Stan Van Gundy was none too pleased.

On offensive problems:

I told them in there – that was the first thing – we’re not playing together at all. I thought it was a very selfish performance, and guys wouldn’t just pass the ball to open men. They wanted to see if they could take one more dribble to get their own shot, so the passing angles were gone. I just thought we forced play after play after play. We’re not willing to move the ball

On Reggie Jackson, who scored seven points on 3-of-10 shooting with six assists and six turnovers, and was coming off Achilles soreness:

He was not good at all. He was forcing everything.

On injuries to point guards – Jackson, Brandon Jennings and Steve Blake – hindering the team’s flow in practice and that carrying over to the game:

We could probably make a lot of excuses for our guys, but we were selfish.

Van Gundy is clearly trying to send a message, and the preseason is the best time to do it.

But it’s somewhat troubling he had to do it after this game.

Eight of the 10 Pistons who played against Brooklyn project to make the regular-season rotation. Joel Anthony played over Aron Baynes, and once healthy, Blake could challenge Spencer Dinwiddie to become back up point guard – at least until Jennings is ready. Otherwise, Detroit – with Jackson, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Marcus Morris, Ersan Ilyasova, Andre Drummond, Jodie Meeks, Stanley Johnson and Anthony Tolliver – looked similar to its opening-night lineup.

Van Gundy is blunt, but he doesn’t tell the media things he hasn’t already directly told his players. They appreciate that.

He’d appreciate them getting this message.

Report: Dwight Howard didn’t have offseason surgery

Dwight Howard
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Dwight Howard said he played with a torn MCL and meniscus in the Western Conference finals – pretty shocking news that few knew what to make of.

So, um, did he have offseason surgery?

Calvin Watkins of ESPN:

Howard obviously feels great about his health now, so maybe this was the right course.

We’ll never how Howard would have performed if fully healthy, but he averaged 14.4 points and 14.4 rebounds in 35.1 minutes per game against the Warriors during the conference finals. How bad could the injuries have been?