Yeah, we know it’s kind of late, nearly two months since the NBA season ended. So what? We’re not having anything hapenning in the league right now. Kobe Bryant is waiting for a call from Turkey. Kevin Durant is playing ball in Harlem, Brooklyn and dropping tons of points. Others are either going to Europe, pondering their options or just making it a longer vacation than usual. LeBron James is staying quiet, so is Derrick Rose. The big questions are probably regarding Chris Paul and Dwight Howard, and where they might go and the chance of making another Super Group, this time in New York.
But we’re in a retro kind of mode and mood, looking back at one of the more interesting and enjoyable seasons in recent years.
Phil Jackson – The now retired for a second time for NBA coach and player won his 1100th game against the Phoenix Suns on October 29, the fifth NBA coach to hit that mark. He finished the season with 1155 wins, retiring shortly after the Lakers got swept by the Mavs in the Conference Semi Finals.
Paul Pierce – On November 3, Paul Pierce scored 28 points against the Bucks. He became the 37th player in NBA history to reach the 20,000 career points mark. He finished the season with 21,410 points, putting him at 35th all time and sixth among active players. He is also the third Celtic to reach that mark, third on their all time scoring list. He should get by Larry Bird, 381 points ahead of him, pretty soon.
Kobe Bryant – On November 11, Bryant scored 34 points in a loss against the Nuggets. He became the young player in history to reach the 26,000 career points mark, 80 days after his 32nd birthday. He finished the season with 27,868 points, the leading active player now that Shaq has retired and sixth on the all-time lists.
Jason Kidd – Jason Kidd, NBA champion. Bet you never thought you’ll hear that one huh? Well, besides winning the NBA title in June, Kidd joined John Stockton as one of the only two NBA players with 11,000 assists during their NBA career. He has 11,578, more than 4,000 behind Stockton. He’ll need about six more seasons to get there. Kid is 38 now. Do you see him dishing 8 assists per game in his 40’s?
1000 Games – Tim Duncan, Ben Wallace, Kurt Thomas and Antonio McDyess all played their 1000th NBA regular season game this season, making it 97 players now to reach that mark. Actually, out of those 97, Glen Rice is the only one who didn’t surpass it, staying with a beautiful 1,000 number on his stat sheet. Dirk Nowitzi is up next, with 993, just so you know.
Ben Wallace – Besides playing his 1000th game, Ben Wallace recorded his 10,000th rebound this season, one of only three active players to hit that mark. With 10,213, Ben Wallace is 33rd on the all time list. His career average of 9.95 is 45th all time.
Ray Allen – The Celtics sharpshooter broke Reggie Miller’s three point record and became the league’s all time leader in three pointers made, setting it currently at 2612. His career shooting percentage of 39.85% is 40th best all time. Reggie Miller is just below with 39.47%.
Kevin Love – No team success, but an incredible season individually. Love, the NBA’s most improved player in 2010-2011, averaged 20.2 points and 15.2 rebounds per game. A double double machine, Love finished with 64 this season, leading the league in rebounds. He also recorded 53 consecutive double doubles, the longest streak since the NBA-ABA merger. The NBA record is 55, Elvin Hayes, back in the 1973-1974 season. Love also recorded the first 30-30 game since 1982, also a Moses Malone feat.
Derrick Rose – Last but not least, the MVP. The youngest MVP in NBA history. The first Chicago Bulls MVP since Michael Jordan. He’s no Michael Jordan, but his young Bulls might soon win an NBA title with a little losing experience behind them. Jordan also needed a few playoff burns before he and the crew around him started adding title rings to their fingers.