In a recent interview with the New York Post, former Lakers coach and current New York Knicks President Phil Jackson answered questions as the team prepares to enter its first training camp under the Zen Master and new head coach Derek Fisher.
All questions pertained to the Knicks, but one specially included a certain Lakers superstar. Jackson was asked if Kobe Bryant is the model for Carmelo Anthony. His response:
No. No one can approach that. I don’t expect anybody to be able to model their behavior after that, although Kobe modeled his behavior a lot about Michael Jordan, but he went beyond Michael in his attitude towards training, and I know Mike would probably question me saying that, but he did.
In yet another answer that will surely spark one more Kobe/Jordan debate, the answer is not shocking. Kobe’s work ethic and competitive drive has long been considered second to none, with many comparisons being drawn to Jordan, considered one of fiercest competitors of his time.
The challenge for Melo will be handling the pressures of success with Jackson overlooking the team. While not coaching, Jackson will have his fingerprints on the team and with past players like Kobe and Jordan having immense success under him, Melo will be walking in their shadow. Fair or not is up to public opinion, but it comes with the territory of being linked to Jackson.
After 16 NBA Championships and 31 Western Conference Titles, the Lakers have been one of the most storied and successful franchises in NBA history. From the eras of West, Chamberlain, Kareem, Magic, and Kobe, there have been countless record-breaking performances and memorable games that have added to Lakers glory. Let’s take a look back at some notable moments for the purple and gold in this off-season version of “A Blast from the Past,” with some of the best Laker-memories from June, over their 66-year history.
June 2, 1985
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar became the NBA’s all-time leading playoff scorer when he exceeded Jerry West’s previous record of 4,457 playoff points in Game 3 of the NBA Finals against the Celtics. Abdul-Jabbar finished his career with 5,762 playoff points, but was eventually surpassed by Michael Jordan’s 5,987.
June 9, 1985
At 38 years old, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar became the oldest player ever voted NBA Finals MVP, after the Lakers defeated the Celtics in six games to secure the title.
June 14, 2009
Phil Jackson won his 10th NBA championship as a head coach when the Lakers beat the Orlando Magic in five games in the NBA Finals. Jackson passed Red Auerbach for most-ever coaching titles in NBA history. He would go on to win one more NBA title as a head coach in 2010, before retiring from coaching in 2011.
June 15, 2001
With their Game 5 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA Finals, the Lakers solidified themselves as the most dominating playoff team in NBA history. Los Angeles set NBA records, which still stand today, for best playoff record (15-1) and highest playoff winning percentage (.937).
June 19, 2000
Shaquille O’Neal became the third player in NBA history to sweep MVP honors during a season when he was named the unanimous MVP of the 2000 NBA Finals. O’Neal also captured the All-Star Game MVP award before being named the NBA MVP at the end of the regular season. O’Neal joined Willis Reed and Michael Jordan as the only three players in history to capture the NBA’s version of the triple crown.
June 25, 1979
The Lakers selected Magic Johnson from Michigan State University with the first overall pick in the NBA draft. The sophomore Johnson became the first underclassman selected with the top pick in NBA history. Johnson won both the NBA title and Finals MVP award in his rookie season with the Lakers, making him the first-ever rookie to do so.
June 29, 1982
The Lakers traded Don Ford and Chad Kinch to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for the number one overall pick in the NBA Draft. With the pick, Los Angeles selected James Worthy of the University of North Carolina Tar Heels at the Felt Forum at Madison Square Garden. Worthy spent his entire career with the Lakers and won three NBA championships during his 12 seasons in Los Angeles.
After 16 NBA Championships and 31 Western Conference Titles, the Lakers have been one of the most storied and successful franchises in NBA history. From the eras of West, Chamberlain, Kareem, Magic, and Kobe, there have been countless record-breaking performances and memorable games that have added to Lakers glory. Let’s take a look back at some notable moments for the purple and gold, from the week of June 1-7, over their 66-year history.
June 2, 1985
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar surpassed Jerry West (4,457 points) to become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer in playoff history after scoring 26 points in a 136-111 rout of the Celtics in Game 3 of the NBA Finals. The Lakers went on to win the series and the title in six games. Abdul-Jabbar finished his career with 5,762 points in the playoffs. Michael Jordan eventually passed Abdul-Jabbar in 1998 for most playoff points in NBA history with 5,987 in his career.
June 3, 1984
Magic Johnson set an NBA Finals record that still stands when he dished out 21 assists in a 137-104 victory over the Boston Celtics in Game 3 of the championship series. The Lakers eventually fell to the Celtics in seven games.
June 4, 1987
The Lakers set a then-Finals record when they shot 61.5% from the field during a 141-122 win over the Celtics in Game 2 of the NBA Finals. In the same game, Michael Cooper also set a then-Finals record by sinking six three-pointers. Currently, both records rank second-best in NBA Finals history.
June 7, 2000
Shaquille O’Neal scored 43 points and collected 19 rebounds in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, in which the Lakers defeated the Indiana Pacers 104-87. O’Neal connected for his 43 points on 21 field goals, which was one short of the NBA Finals record of 22, held by both Elgin Baylor and Rick Barry. O’Neal became one of only five players in NBA history (Baylor, Barry, Jerry West, and Michael Jordan) to convert at least 21 field goal attempts in a Finals game.
After 16 NBA Championships and 31 Western Conference Titles, the Lakers have been one of the most storied and successful franchises in NBA history. From the eras of West, Chamberlain, Kareem, Magic, and Kobe, there have been countless record-breaking performances and memorable games that have added to Lakers glory. Let’s take a look back at some notable moments for the purple and gold, from the week of February 2-8, over their 66-year history.
February 2, 2002
Phil Jackson became just the 13th coach in NBA history to notch 700 career wins in a 100-85 Lakers’ victory over Memphis. In his 12th season as a head coach, Jackson improved his record to 700-246. Jackson retired from coaching in 2011 with a record of 1155-485 and a winning percentage of .704, which is currently the highest winning percentage of any coach in NBA history.
February 2, 1996
The Lakers and Bulls set a then-record for the highest-rated NBA game ever on cable television, when Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson faced off on the hardwood for the first time since the 1991 NBA Finals. Jordan notched 17 points for Chicago, while Johnson scored 15 points off the bench for Los Angeles, in a 99-84 Bulls’ win in Los Angeles. The game, which aired on TNT, was viewed by 4.75 million homes and earned a 7.1 rating and 13.1 share. This record lasted for just three months before it was broken during a playoff game between the Chicago Bulls and Orlando Magic.
February 2, 2009
Kobe Bryant scored a season-high 61 points in a 126-117 victory over the Knicks in New York. Bryant went 19 for 31 from the field and 20 for 20 from the free throw line. He broke Michael Jordan’s opponent record at the Garden of 55 points, as well as Bernard King’s overall record of 60 for most ever points scored at the Mecca. Carmelo Anthony broke Bryant’s Garden record when he scored 62 points against the Bobcats just last month.
February 4, 1987
The Lakers held the reeling Sacramento Kings to just four points in the first quarter, marking the fewest points scored in the first quarter of an NBA game since the establishment of the shot clock in 1954. In a balanced effort, Los Angeles went on to rout Sacramento 128-92, as seven Lakers scored in double figures.
February 7, 2001
Kobe Bryant hit a game-winning 15-foot jump shot over Shawn Marion with 2.7 seconds left in regulation to lift the Lakers over the Phoenix Suns 85-83 at STAPLES Center. With 23 points in the second half, Bryant scored a game-high 32 points, while collecting eight rebounds and notching nine assists in the final game before the All-Star break.
After 16 NBA Championships and 31 Western Conference Titles, the Lakers have been one of the most storied and successful franchises in NBA history. From the eras of West, Chamberlain, Kareem, Magic, and Kobe, there have been countless record-breaking performances and memorable games that have added to Lakers glory. Let’s take a look back at some notable moments for the purple and gold over their 66-year history.
December 1, 1981
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar becomes the second all-time leading scorer in NBA history after scoring 14 points in a 117-86 rout of the Utah Jazz. Abdul-Jabbar, the eventual six-time NBA champion, finished the 1981-82 season with more than 28,000 career points, trailing the NBA’s then leading-scorer Wilt Chamberlain by 3,000 points. “Cap” finished his playing career in 1989 as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer with 38,387 points, a record that still holds today.
December 4, 1987
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s streak of consecutive games scoring 10+ points is halted at 787 games. The future hall of famer scored just seven points in an 85-83 Lakers loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. Abdul-Jabbar’s streak currently ranks second best in NBA history, behind Michael Jordan’s 866 consecutive games of scoring in double figures.
December 5, 2012
Kobe Bryant becomes just the fifth player in NBA history to score 30,000 points. Bryant netted 29 points, as the Lakers beat the New Orleans Hornets 103-87. Kobe currently sits behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Michael Jordan, and Wilt Chamberlain for most points scored in an NBA career. At 34, Bryant was the youngest player to ever reach the 30,000 point plateau.
December 6, 2002
The Lakers overcome a 27-point deficit in the fourth quarter to defeat the Dallas Mavericks 105-103 at the Staples Center. Kobe Bryant finished with a game-high 27 points, while scoring 21 of his 27 in the fourth quarter. Bryant hit a jumper with 8.4 seconds left in the game to give the Lakers the lead and the eventual win. Shaquille O’Neal added 26 points and 11 rebounds. This game marks the largest fourth-quarter comeback in Lakers history, and the second largest fourth-quarter rally in NBA history, behind Milwaukee’s 28 point turnaround in 1977.
December 7, 1986
Lakers head coach Pat Riley records his 300th career win behind a 132-100 victory over the Golden State Warriors. The former Lakers guards became the 27th head coach in NBA history to win at least 300 games. Riley broke the record for fastest NBA head coach to 300 wins, which was previously held by Billy Cunningham of the Philadelphia 76ers at 430 games. Riley needed just 416 games to reach the milestone.
This ‘present vs. future’ argument continues to spark debate between basketball enthusiasts.
Well, according to the Sun Sentinel, Michael Jordan would rather have Kobe.
When asked who has had the more successful career to this point, Jordan had this to say:
“If you had to pick between the two, that would be a tough choice,” Jordan said.
“But five beats one every time I look at it.”
Bryant is currently sitting on five rings in Los Angeles, while James just won his first championship last season with the Miami Heat.
Jordan continued to explain his reasoning:
“And not that he won’t get five,” Jordan said of James. “He may get more than that, but five is bigger than one.”
LeBron James then responded to Jordan’s choice:
“That doesn’t matter to me,” James said. “If you take Kobe one and then I go second . . . it doesn’t matter. I don’t really get too involved about what guys say about me, or if you take Kobe or if you take LeBron.
“As long as I’m on the floor and I try to make plays for my teammates, I don’t do what I do for other people’s approval.”
As shown by his decision, it’s still championships over everything for Jordan.
Jordan certainly respects James as one of the best players in the game today, but as for whom he would choose?
His choice is clear: Kobe Bean Bryant.
Who is it for you Laker Nation? Would you also pick Kobe over LeBron?