Kobe Bryant may have won the battle early, but Chris Paul was the one who won the war.
Bryant finished with an impressive 38 points on 15-of-25 shooting on Friday, none more eye-popping than this steal and powerful breakaway slam dunk over Paul that had Staples Center buzzing in the game’s opening minutes.
In a game filled with highlights, this was the one that stood out on the Lakers side. Although if you asked Bryant about it afterward, he’d likely have said he would have preferred to have a more pedestrian step-back jumper that would have sealed his team’s victory — like the one Paul knocked down with 19 seconds remaining that helped the Clippers hold on.
A shot which, by the way, was converted over Bryant.
Dwyane Wade serious as mentor, teaching Justise Winslow post moves
“As his career develops, hopefully he’s able to do multiple things on the floor, but right now there’s gonna be certain things (Erik Spoelstra) wants him to do, and some of those things I’m good at,” Wade said. “I’m just passing down knowledge to someone who I think could be good at things that I have strengths at. It’s gonna take a while, but if he figures it out at 21, he’s ahead of the curve. I figured it out at like 27.
“All of us are where we’re at because someone before us helped us. They helped by letting us sit there and watch film with them or having conversations with them. If he’s a student of it and he really wants to know, I’m a pretty decent teacher in certain areas.”
This is what you want out of a veteran leader and some of the young teams out there have done an excellent job adding this kind of mentor — Kevin Garnett in Minnesota may be the best example. Someone who can pass on his wisdom and show the team’s young players how to be a professional and win in the NBA.
It’s a little different for Winslow, he and the Heat are more in a win-now mode, but he should be able to contribute to that.
NBA All-Star, champion Bill Bridges dies at age 76
Bill Bridges, a star as a Kansas Jayhawk who went on to have a 12-year NBA career that included being part of the 1975 Golden State Warriors championship team, has passed away, according to the University of Kansas.
Bridges was an undersized power forward at 6’6″ but he was a beast on the boards who averaged 11.9 rebounds a game for his career and more than 13 a game for six straight years at the peak of his career. That 11.9 per game average is still 27th all-time in NBA history.
A New Mexico native, Bridges was a three-time All-Star (all as a member of the Hawks), two-time All-NBA Defensive team, and was part of the 1975 Warriors title team. Besides the Hawks (St. Louis and Atlanta) and Warriors, Bridges played for the Sixers and Lakers.