Kobe Bryant oldest player since Michael Jordan to outscore his age in game

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At age 37, Kobe Bryant scored 38 points in the Lakers’ win over the Timberwolves last night.

That made Kobe the oldest player to outscore his age in a game since Michael Jordan, who scored 43 points at age 40 in 2003.

Jordan’s 43, with the Wizards, also made him the oldest player ever to outscore his age. Karl Malone and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar are the only other players to accomplish the feat at an older age than Kobe

Here’s every time someone at least 35 outscored his age. Jordan is red, Abdul Jabbar green, Malone blue and Kobe purple – his game last night larger. Everyone else is gold.

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Player Game Age Points
Michael Jordan Feb. 21, 2003: WAS-NJN 40 years, 4 days 43
Michael Jordan Feb. 1, 2003: WAS-NOH 39 years, 349 days 45
Michael Jordan Jan. 4, 2003: WAS-IND 39 years, 321 days 41
Karl Malone March 12, 2003: UTA-ORL 39 years, 231 days 40
Michael Jordan Jan. 26, 2002: WAS-PHO 38 years, 343 days 41
Michael Jordan Jan. 24, 2002: WAS-CLE 38 years, 341 days 40
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar March 16, 1986: LAL-HOU 38 years, 334 days 43
Michael Jordan Dec. 31, 2001: WAS-NJN 38 years, 317 days 45
Michael Jordan Dec. 29, 2001: WAS-CHH 38 years, 315 days 51
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Feb. 6, 1986: LAL-HOU 38 years, 296 days 46
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Feb. 2, 1986: LAL-NYK 38 years, 292 days 40
Michael Jordan Nov. 16, 2001: WAS-UTA 38 years, 272 days 44
Karl Malone Dec. 8, 2001: UTA-GSW 38 years, 137 days 39
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Feb. 24, 1985: LAL-NYK 37 years, 314 days 39
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Feb. 5, 1985: LAL-HOU 37 years, 295 days 40
Kobe Bryant Feb. 2, 2016: LAL-MIN 37 years, 163 days 38
Karl Malone Dec. 20, 2000: UTA-PHI 37 years, 149 days 41
Julius Erving April 17, 1987: PHI-IND 37 years, 54 days 38
Johnny Green Dec. 20, 1970: CIN-DET 37 years, 12 days 39
Shaquille O’Neal Feb. 27, 2009: PHO-TOR 36 years, 358 days 45
Patrick Ewing March 30, 1999: NYK-IND 36 years, 237 days 37
Karl Malone Nov. 20, 1999: UTA-MIL 36 years, 119 days 40
Robert Parish Dec. 8, 1989: BOS-DEN 36 years, 100 days 38
Dale Ellis Nov. 11, 1996: DEN-TOR 36 years, 97 days 37
Kobe Bryant Nov. 16, 2014: LAL-GSW 36 years, 85 days 44
Kobe Bryant Nov. 4, 2014: LAL-PHO 36 years, 73 days 39
Walter Davis Nov. 9, 1990: DEN-SEA 36 years, 61 days 41
Alex English Feb. 17, 1990: DEN-NJN 36 years, 43 days 38
John Havlicek April 11, 1976: BOS-WSB 36 years, 3 days 38
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar April 13, 1983: LAL-SAS 35 years, 362 days 38
Steve Nash Dec. 26, 2009: PHO-GSW 35 years, 322 days 36
Karl Malone April 8, 1999: UTA-GSW 35 years, 258 days 38
Jamal Crawford Nov. 14, 2015: LAC-DET 35 years, 239 days 37
Dirk Nowitzki Jan. 29, 2014: DAL-HOU 35 years, 224 days 38
Sam Jones Jan. 29, 1969: BOS-SEA 35 years, 219 days 39
Dirk Nowitzki Jan. 11, 2014: DAL-NOP 35 years, 206 days 40
Elgin Baylor Feb. 27, 1970: LAL-CHI 35 years, 164 days 42
Elgin Baylor Feb. 22, 1970: LAL-BOS 35 years, 159 days 39
Elgin Baylor Feb. 11, 1970: LAL-SFW 35 years, 148 days 43
Elgin Baylor Feb. 7, 1970: LAL-PHO 35 years, 144 days 41
Clyde Drexler Nov. 5, 1997: HOU-LAC 35 years, 136 days 43
Dan Issel Feb. 22, 1984: DEN-SAS 35 years, 120 days 36
Walter Davis Jan. 6, 1990: DEN-UTA 35 years, 119 days 36
Larry Bird March 15, 1992: BOS-POR 35 years, 99 days 49
Dan Issel Jan. 26, 1984: DEN-CHI 35 years, 93 days 37
Elgin Baylor Dec. 14, 1969: LAL-SEA 35 years, 89 days 37
Elgin Baylor Dec. 7, 1969: LAL-ATL 35 years, 82 days 36
Reggie Miller Nov. 8, 2000: IND-MIL 35 years, 76 days 41
Alex English March 21, 1989: DEN-HOU 35 years, 75 days 37
Lenny Wilkens Jan. 6, 1973: CLE-LAL 35 years, 70 days 36
Paul Pierce Dec. 19, 2012: BOS-CLE 35 years, 67 days 40
Alex English March 10, 1989: DEN-MIA 35 years, 64 days 51
Michael Jordan April 18, 1998: CHI-NYK 35 years, 60 days 44
Michael Jordan April 11, 1998: CHI-ORL 35 years, 53 days 37
Michael Jordan April 5, 1998: CHI-HOU 35 years, 47 days 40
Michael Jordan April 3, 1998: CHI-MIN 35 years, 45 days 41
Alex English Feb. 2, 1989: DEN-ATL 35 years, 28 days 36
Michael Jordan March 10, 1998: CHI-MIA 35 years, 21 days 37
Alex English Jan. 24, 1989: DEN-NJN 35 years, 19 days 43
Michael Jordan March 8, 1998: CHI-NYK 35 years, 19 days 42
Alex English Jan. 5, 1989: DEN-GSW 35 years, 0 days 37

Report: Celtics reach out to former assistant Larranaga about joining Mazzulla’s staff

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The Boston Celtics are reportedly looking for a veteran assistant to put on the bench next to 34-year-old Joe Mazzulla, the man thrust into the head coach’s chair for a title contender in the wake of Ime Udoka’s suspension.

Who better than a guy who spent nine years on the Celtics’ bench? Boston reached out to Jay Larranaga, currently on the Clippers bench, about returning to the East Coast, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

The Clippers had no turnover on Tyronn Lue’s staff heading into this season. Mazzulla has become a trusted member of the Clippers staff, working a lot with the big me on the roster. However, if the Celtics back up the Brink’s Truck, the Clippers will not stand in his way if he wants to leave. It’s a question of comfort level, lifestyle, and of course money for Larranaga.

The Celtics made Mazzulla their interim head coach after an investigation found a “volume of violations” of team policy by Udoka, who had an improper relationship with a team staff member. So far the Celtics and Udoka have been able to keep the details of what happened under wraps, but league sources described the situation to NBC Sports as “ugly” and “messy,” especially if/when those details do find their way to the public.

For Celtics players, just getting back on the court, practicing Tuesday and focusing on basketball — not the turmoil around the franchise — was a good thing.

“Once we got out on the court, it was just nice to get back out the court and review our defense and to talk about offense and doing what we do,” Al Horford told the Associated Press. “It’s a good thing to just play basketball. That’s what we’re here for. It’s important to just start this thing back up again.”

Getting another coach on the bench will be important for the Celtics as well.

Hawks trade Harkless, second-round pick to Thunder for Vit Krejci

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The Atlanta Hawks just saved some money, getting under the luxury tax line. The Oklahoma City Thunder picked up a second-round pick for their trouble of taking on a contract.

The Hawks have traded Moe Harkless and a second-round pick to the Thunder for Vit Krejci the teams announced (Shams Charania of The Athletic was first).

This saves Atlanta a little over $3 million, which moves them from above the luxury tax line to $1.3 million below it. While the almighty dollar was the primary motivation in the ATL, the Hawks also pick up a development project. Krejci showed a little promise in his rookie season, appearing in 30 games and averaging 6.2 points plus 3.4 rebounds a night, before having his knee scoped in April.

Krejci was on the bubble of making the team in Oklahoma City, now the Thunder pick up a second-round pick for a guy they might have waived anyway.

Harkless, 29, is on an expiring $4.6 million contract, which fits nicely into the Disabled Player Exception the Thunder were granted for Chet Holmgren’s season-ending foot injury.

The Thunder are expected to waive Harkless and buy him out, making him a free agent. However, they could keep him and see if another trade could net them another second-round pick.

Lonzo Ball says ‘I can’t run’ or jump; Bulls’ Donovan has to plan for extended absence

Milwaukee Bucks v Chicago Bulls
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
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Officially, Lonzo Ball will be out 4-6 weeks after getting his knee scoped this week.

However, this is his second surgery on his left knee this year — he had meniscus surgery in January, after which he was never able to return to the court — and there are concerns Ball could miss significant time again. And coach Billy Donovan has no choice but to plan for an extended absence.

Ball did a Zoom call with reporters on Tuesday and it’s hard to come away from what he said overly optimistic. Rob Schaefer reported on the call for NBC Sports Chicago:

“Literally, I really can’t run. I can’t run or jump. There’s a range from, like, 30 to 60 degrees when my knee is bent that I have, like, no force and I can’t, like, catch myself. Until I can do those things I can’t play,” Ball said. “I did rehab, it was getting better, but it was not to a point where I could get out there and run full speed or jump. So surgery is the next step.”

The symptoms are something Ball said he has never dealt with and have left doctors, in his words, “a little surprised.”

It’s never good when doctors are surprised. Ball said the doctors don’t see anything on the MRI, but there is clearly something wrong, so they are going in and looking to find the issue and fix it.

Ball has been diligent in his recovery work from the start, the problem was pain in his knee. Something was still not right after the first surgery. Whatever it is.

The 4-6 week timeline would have Ball back in early November, but you know they will be overly cautious with him after the past year. Coach Billy Donovan was honest — he has to plan for a season without Ball.

The Bulls need Ball in a deep and challenging East. He brings defense, pushes the pace in transition, and takes care of the rock. Chicago has other players who can do those things individually — Alex Caruso can defend, Coby White pushes in transition, Goran Dragic takes care of the ball — but the Bulls lack one player who can do all those things. At least they lack one until Ball returns.

Whenever that may be.

Deandre Ayton says he hasn’t spoken to coach Williams since Game 7

Phoenix Suns v New Orleans Pelicans - Game Four
Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images
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In a Game 7 against the Mavericks last May, Suns coach Monty Williams benched center Deandre Ayton, who ended up playing just 17 minutes in an ugly, blowout loss for Phoenix. When asked about it after the game Williams said, “It’s internal.”

Ayton and Williams have not spoken since then, according to Ayton.

Yikes. Remember that includes a summer where the Suns would not offer Ayton a max contract extension so he went out and got one from the Pacers, then the Suns instantly matched it. Ayton did not sound thrilled to be back in Phoenix on Media Day, and he was rather matter-of-fact about dealing with his coach.

It’s what every fan wants to hear — “this is just my job.”

Reporters asked Williams about this and he played it off, saying he hasn’t spoken with a lot of players yet.

It’s just day one of training camp, but there are a lot of red flags around the Suns: owner Robert Sarver being suspended and selling the team, Jae Crowder not in camp waiting to be traded, and now not a lot of communication between the team’s star center and its coach.

Maybe it all amounts to nothing. Maybe the Suns get on the court, Chris Paul looks rejuvenated, Devin Booker looks like Devin Booker, and none of this matters. But what had looked like a stable situation not that long ago now has a lot of red flags flying heading into the season, and that has to concern Suns fans.