The Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant needs 13 points Wednesday night to become the fifth player in NBA history to eclipse the 30,000-point mark.
Sixers coach Doug Collins, who has coached one of those five, knows it takes a special talent to reach that milestone. Collins picked up a unique perspective on that mark when he coached Michael Jordan, both in Chicago and Washington.
“You have to have
incredible talent and you have to have – this is what I always talk about (with)
greatness: greatness answers the bell every night. I saw it with Michael
Jordan," Collins said following the Sixers' practice at PCOM. "Michael Jordan was not allowed to come and have a so-so game. He not
only had to throw up a huge game, but he had to do something spectacular that
people were talking about going home. There’s a mindset you have. Kobe wants to
play all 82 games, he never wants to miss. That’s a badge of courage for him.
It was always for Michael. I think when Michael was 40, on my team, he was the
only person that played all 82 games. That’s important to be there every night
for your team."
Collins also spoke of the personal level on which he knows Bryant, who was born the same year as Collins' daughter Kelly. Collins was a teammate of Joe "Jellybean" Bryant, Kobe's father, at the time of their childrens' births, so "I've watched Kobe grow."
Collins said there's something to be appreciated in the work ethic of players like Bryant and Jordan, especially in how Jordan scored his 30,000th point, how he elevated his play after ending an 866-game streak of scoring in double figures.
"He and Michael remind me so much of each other," Collins said. "...I had Michael with Washington (in 2001-02) and he came off that
eight-point game in Indiana (actually a career-low six) that broke that long, long streak.
He came back his next night and had 51 against Jersey, then I think he had 45
against Charlotte, and then we played Chicago and – double-check – but I think
he got his 30,000th point, I think Ron Artest fouled him, and he hit two free
throws to get his 30,000th point when I was coaching him. I remember Ron Artest
standing in front of our bench and punching the scorething or whatever and
saying he did not want Michael to get his 30,000th point against him or
Labels: Doug Collins, Joe Bryant, Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers, Michael Jordan, milestone, Ron Artest, statistics breakdown