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A Philadelphia 76ers blog, hosted by Christopher A. Vito

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

DOUG COLLINS ON KOBE BRYANT'S RUN TOWARD 30,000 POINTS: "GREATNESS ANSWERS THE BELL EVERY NIGHT"

(Associated Press)
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.

(Associated Press)
"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 whatever."

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