Sacramento Kings assistant coach Randy Brown knows what a 70-win NBA team looks like. He was on one.
Or should I say, he was on it, because the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls are the lone team in league history to reach the 70-win plateau during their record-setting 72-10 season.
You might remember Brown, a role player who wore No. 0 on the Bulls' 1996-98 championship team, for trying to wrestle the game ball away from Michael Jordan after Chicago downed Seattle in Game 6 of the 1996 NBA Finals.
"I went for that ball," Brown told me before his Kings played the Lakers on Sunday. "It's Toni Kukoc's fault. I told him to give me the ball and as you can see, Michael and I are running for it and then it hit me: It's Father's Day, let the guy have the ball. So, I let it go. He was destined for it, so it was no big deal."
With a 118-108 win over Sacramento, Los Angeles pushed its record to 11-1, moving ahead of Chicago's pace in '95-96. The Bulls started their season 10-2, losing to the Sonics on Nov. 26 before going on a 13-game winning streak to set their record at 23-2 by Christmas.
Only seven out of the Lakers' next 16 games leading up to their Finals rematch against Boston on Dec. 25 are against teams with .500 records or better.
Brown thinks that this Lakers team with a clean shaven Zen Master and No. 24 running the show can match the feat accomplished 12 years ago by the bearded coach and No. 23.
"Of course Phil [Jackson] is down there, but they are a little more talented than we were when I played for the Bulls," Brown said. "At the same time, the NBA is getting some parity. There are a lot of teams out there that are good ... hopefully if they stay injury free, maybe they can get there."But 70 games to win in the NBA is a lot of games now because so many teams are good at home. Some teams are getting good now, the East is catching up with the West and the West is going to be strong for some years to come. It's a long season, anything can happen.
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