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Kobe Bryant scored 44 points Monday and passed Jerry West to become the Lakers’ all-time scoring leader.
The Lakers lost at Memphis and finished their road trip at 5-3. Not bad at all.
Kobe is my second-favorite Laker of all time. Magic Johnson is No. 1.
As great as Kobe has been over the last 14 years, Magic was even more special. He was the most unique player in basketball history. A 6-foot-9 point guard who could play all five positions, shoot the 3, and take it to the hole. Oh yeah, he also was the best passer who ever lived.
Growing up a Lakers fan in the 1980s was amazing. Every night was “Showtime” with Magic leading the fast break and posting up smaller opponents. I got spoiled watching that team play.
I loved watching Magic set up plays in the halfcourt. He would start dribbling backwards 20 feet from the basket, slowly nudging his man toward the rim until he was in position for a layup or a pass to James Worthy or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. I once heard legendary Lakers broadcaster Chick Hearn say, “Magic set up that play for 10 minutes.”
There will always be “the next Jordan” or “the next Kobe,” but I don’t think there ever will be “the next Magic.” No player before or since had skills even remotely resembling Earvin “Magic” Johnson’s.
My favorite Lakers of all time…
- Magic Johnson
- Kobe Bryant
- Shaquille O’Neal
- James Worthy
- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Defying the broken index finger on his shooting hand, Kobe Bryant sunk a 15-footer Wednesday night to beat Milwaukee in overtime 107-106.
The guy is unreal.
And speaking of Kobe, who would have ever guessed that his public image would be more favorable than Tiger Woods’ public image? Tiger has made Kobe look like a choir boy and/or a devoted family man.
Today’s trivia: On Sept. 18, 2006, the Dodgers hit four consecutive home runs to tie the score in the bottom of the ninth inning. They won the game in 10 innings. Can you name the four Dodgers who homered in that ninth inning?
Tiger Woods was named athlete of the decade in a vote by Associated Press sports editors. Lance Armstrong was second, Roger Federer third and Michael Phelps fourth.
Athletes in individual sports apparently have an edge over athletes in team sports. Not sure why, but it’s true. Tom Brady was the highest “team sport” athlete on the list, and he finished fifth.
Moreover, Albert Pujols is one of the greatest baseball players of all time, and he received a grand total of ONE vote.
Trivia answer: Jeff Kent, J.D. Drew, Russell Martin and Marlon Anderson hit back-to-back-to-back-to-back homers to tie the score. After the Padres took a one-run lead in the top of the 10th, Nomar Garciaparra won the game for the Dodgers with a two-run homer in the bottom of the 10th.