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Kobe Bryant to sit Thursday, Durant wins third scoring title

Apr 26, 2012, 3:06 PM EDT

Kobe Bryant Kevin Durant Getty Images

Kevin Durant, after dropping 32 points on Wednesday night, was likely going to win the NBA scoring title. For Kobe Bryant to catch him, the Lakers star was going to have to score 38 in a meaningless game against the Kings Thursday.

Which he is not going to do because Lakers coach Mike Brown said Kobe is resting this game to prepare for the playoffs, reports Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated.

Durant finishes the season averaging 28 points per game to Kobe’s 27.9. This is Durant’s third consecutive scoring title, the last player to win three in a row was Michael Jordan.

In recent days both Kobe and Durant had downplayed the scoring title race, saying they were more concerned with being right for the playoffs. With this season’s short turnaround between the playoffs and regular season — the Lakers open at home on Sunday against likely Denver but maybe Dallas — many coaches are resting players the final game of the regular season. Kobe could have forced Mike Brown to play him and could have scored 38 points on what passes for defense in Sacramento (even if Kobe had to take 41 shots to get there) but he chose to focus on the big picture.

With the Thunder and Lakers favored to meet in the second round, both of these guys would trade a scoring title for a win in that series.

  1. loungefly74 - Apr 26, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    i’m a little surprised. i would have thought at this stage of his career, kobe would go after any hardware to add to his collection due to the fact its only going to get harder as he gets older…BUT…good for Kobe…he has his eyes set on bigger things to achieve…a 6th ring….

    • progress2011 - Apr 26, 2012 at 4:49 PM

      He shoulda went after the scoring title…eventhough he is shooting only 43% to Durants 49.5% and Durant leads him in total points by 234.

      But because the league has a weird, per game fake math deal, he had a chance to win.

      Again, he shoulda went for the scoring title because its a pipe dream to think, he will get a sixth ring !!!

      • borderline1988 - Apr 26, 2012 at 5:32 PM

        progress2011:

        You’re right, but how else should the league do it?
        Total points doesn’t solve any of the efficiency problems you have with PPG.

        PPG isn’t perfect, but it’s the best we got.

      • lakerdownunder - Apr 26, 2012 at 5:43 PM

        Points per 48 minutes would before suitable

      • progress2011 - Apr 26, 2012 at 6:47 PM

        borderline…thanks for asking. To me its very simple:

        1. Number of shots
        2. Field Goal Percentage (number of shots made vs number of bricks)
        3. Total Points

        Under the current system, a guy is not penalized for the number of bricks, resulting in low percentages. Field Goal Attempts vs Field Goals Made.

        EX: Player A takes a couple hundred more shots, until sitting out 6 games, than player B, but still trail in field goal percentage AND trail by 234 Total points.

        Does that make sense ?

        No need to answer, it’s not really a question.

      • mytthor - Apr 27, 2012 at 2:01 AM

        progress, how would you combine those 3 things? Or do you think we should just look at all 3 and then like someone votes on who would be the scoring champion?

        And you do realize that under anything that considers shooting percentage, big men are going to be very very overvalued.

      • loungefly74 - Apr 27, 2012 at 8:43 AM

        exactly mytthor…you are correct. the current system is just fine. it makes sense. factoring bricks, FG%, etc would skew results. you nailed it about “big men” being over-valued.

        Progress,…KD plays SF…it’s a natural tendency for him to have a better shot selection, hence higher FG%, as he plays closer to the rim. your system would make a guy like andrew bynum the scoring champion. you are creating some new category that strays away too much from what defines the current definition. yeah…i guess you could have a category/trophy for “who scores most in the league”…but thats more of a NFL/MLB-type stat.

    • therealhtj - Apr 26, 2012 at 4:53 PM

      Kobe may have his eyes on the prize, but let’s face it, it’s probably not happening this year. Mike Brown is not a championship coach, Pau checked out after beating the Celts, and combined with Bynum brittle legs and petulant attitude, a ring would take an incredible run of amazing luck. Kobe may as well have gotten the scoring crown.

      As a Laker fan, Kobe’s legacy is at best a tertiary concern. The only legacy I care about is the Purple and Gold, and spending half the salary cap on ANY one guy pretty much ensures there’s no Larry O trophy making its way back to LA anytime soon.

      • loungefly74 - Apr 27, 2012 at 8:32 AM

        yikes therealhtj! well…that is a one way to see this…albiet, a pessimistic view but damn.

        we still have the best 5-4 combo in the league…kobe is kobe…and the bench is playing better. i’m gonna give my team, that has gone to the finals 3 of the last 4 years, a better shot than “an incredible run of amazing luck”.

  2. mrpostman985 - Apr 26, 2012 at 3:17 PM

    Atta Boy Kobe !!! Keep ur eyes on da prize!! It’s all about da rings!!

  3. eureca323 - Apr 26, 2012 at 3:24 PM

    Hes only chasing championships at this point. No reason to risk any injury in a meaningless game when the playoffs would be days away. Look at Matt Barnes in Sunday’s OKC game spraining his ankle. Wasn’t a meaningless game but all it takes is for you land wrong to sprain your ankle or worse. Look at Manu last season in the last game of the regular season getting injured which had a huge impact in their 1st round loss to the 8th seed grizz.

    Play it safe its competing for the championship that matters.

  4. jumbossportsblog - Apr 26, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    Reblogged this on jumbossportsblog.

    • 00maltliquor - Apr 26, 2012 at 11:43 PM

      I love how you’re the only one thumbing yourself up, if you got a good data plan you can get 2 up by using your cell phone and going online I bet!

      • jumbossportsblog - Apr 27, 2012 at 1:27 PM

        This is a blog done by my 12 year old son. Why are you people continue to hate on him. What is you goal here? You all need to back off and get a life yourself. He is a kid.

  5. 4thquartermagic - Apr 26, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    When he retires he may look back at tis ONE game and wish he’d have played and added one more trophy to his case.

    If nothing else it would’ve helped in the argument regarding him vs. MJ.

    Kobe’s a super competitive guy is all I’m sayin.

    • drunkenjunk - Apr 26, 2012 at 3:56 PM

      You’re a fool, if you believe that a scoring title means more than a ring to Kobe.

      • 4thquartermagic - Apr 26, 2012 at 4:25 PM

        LOL so if he plays this ONE game against a garbage Sacramento team he’s guaranteed not to win another championship??

        My mistake I had no idea him sitting out against Sac meant he automatically wins ring number 6.

    • loungefly74 - Apr 27, 2012 at 8:48 AM

      thumbs up to 4thquartermagic. there is nothing wrong with his statement. heck, how many blogs have been written about “the MJ vs. Kobe arguement?” tons. this would have been fuel for the debate among sportswriters and fans…

      ultimately, it is up to kobe on what he wants to do and there is no shame in his choice…BUT 4thquartermagic, i hear ya…

      • 4thquartermagic - Apr 27, 2012 at 1:59 PM

        While I agree with your statement “it is up to kobe on what he wants to do and there is no shame in his choice” he still has to take some flak since for years all everyones has said about Kobe is “he’s the Black Mamba, he’s a killer, he’s the ultimate competitor, and he wants it more!”

        While here’s one tangible instance everyone can point to and say, “MJ wouldn’t have sat.”

  6. fouldwimmerlaik - Apr 26, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    I told you yesterday: You can never beat Kobe. He may LET you win, but you cannot beat him. I am getting my Kobe Bryant Action Figures all set up for the playoffs. I have put a cape on one and I fly him around the room……SUPER KOBE!

    • fouldwimmerlaik - Apr 26, 2012 at 8:23 PM

      Get a life, pimple face. They say that imitation is a form of flattery… in this case, you’re a hemorrhoid. \m/@c@\m/

      Still using my name handle? That’s one looooooong obsession you got. Scary. Creepy. Poor you, you are not still over me, eh? Sorry for the rejection. I’m not into fellow males. LOL!

      Go back to your sandlot, clearasil kid.

      OT: Kobe has his sights on better, loftier goals. Scoring titles don’t mean anything.

      • fouldwimmerlaik - Apr 27, 2012 at 11:34 AM

        Fly, Kobe, fly!

  7. thevza - Apr 26, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    If it was anyone besides Durant, Kobe would have gone for it. This way he can use it for extra motivation if they play each other in Round 2.

  8. drunkenjunk - Apr 26, 2012 at 4:35 PM

    4thmagic

    you don’t get what i’m saying. You’re an idiot for thinking that Kobe would risk injury, for a scoring title. He’s been banged up and the rest means more in the big picture.

    • loungefly74 - Apr 27, 2012 at 8:51 AM

      ehhh…i think its a more of a case of rest rather than injury

    • 4thquartermagic - Apr 27, 2012 at 2:05 PM

      He’s banged up????? EVERYONE is banged up by playoff time. One night off doesn’t heal all wounds.

      Oh and the argument that he’s afraid of getting hurt shouldn’t apply to Kobe right? I thought Kobe was the “Black Mamba who is killer. He plays with no fear.”

      Kobe is great but his fanboys that make excuses for EVERYTHING he does are ridiculous.

      He cheats on his wife and what do Kobe fans say? He only cares about one ring and one ring only, a championship ring.

      • loungefly74 - Apr 27, 2012 at 2:47 PM

        well 4thquartermagic, the comment about cheating on his wife has nothing to do with this. i could care less about their personal conduct. thats between him and his wife. i’m sure we could pick apart any player about their flaws…(known flaws)

  9. lakerluver - Apr 26, 2012 at 4:48 PM

    Can’t wait to read the “Kobe Haters” spin on this.

    • progress2011 - Apr 26, 2012 at 4:52 PM

      Well….Let me help you with that !

      He shoulda went after the scoring title…eventhough he is shooting only 43% to Durants 49.5% and Durant leads him in total points by 234.

      But because the league has a weird, per game fake math deal, he had a chance to win.

      Again, he shoulda went for the scoring title because its a pipe dream to think, he will get a sixth ring

      • raidmagic - Apr 26, 2012 at 4:59 PM

        Durant leads by that many points due to games played. What is so hard about taking total points scored and dividing it by games played? What is flawed about that?

      • progress2011 - Apr 26, 2012 at 5:10 PM

        Durant leads by that many because he is a better shooter, as the percentages confirm.

        Eventhough he has played more games, he has taken ” fewer” shots than the Jack-Up-Master.

        To date: kobe 1336 shots
        Durant 1297 shots

        So, in conclusion…Durant has played 6 more games but has taken 39 fewer shots AND still leads by 234 points.

        Next excuse please….

      • loungefly74 - Apr 27, 2012 at 9:13 AM

        lakerluver…plaese excuse progress for he does not see the whole picture…

        progress…FG% has NOTHING to do with the scoring title! do you understand that? you factoring in FG% is a completly different stat. guys like Bynum, Chandler, Gortat, etc…would be the guys getting the title. think about that!

        The current (and correct) system takes into account the right measurables. it’s basically like the “Batting Title” in baseball. your system would ding against players resting or injured.

        oh…a pipe dream? really? you probably said the same thing after 2009 and 2010…your “haterade” flaws your reasoning.

  10. lakerluver - Apr 26, 2012 at 5:14 PM

    @therealhtj, my fellow LAKERS bro, we have as good of a chance as anyone to win a title this season. Every contending team in the league is flawed. My pick to win it all is OKC. However, the LAKERS have a legit chance to pull it off.

    • lyndseymarieee - Apr 26, 2012 at 10:37 PM

      i am a thunder fan and while i would love for them to win it all, i just don’t see that happening this year. they still have a tendency to shut down in the 4th quarter. not to say they won’t turn it up because it is the playoffs but they will be lucky to make it passed the spurs (if that’s who they end up facing in the western conference finals).

  11. marlin1894 - Apr 26, 2012 at 5:22 PM

    jumbossportsblog

    Do you see all the thumbs downs you’re getting? Do you realize that you may be hurting your recycled sports blog with your comments? I’m all for people blogging but you’re kind of shooting yourself in the foot when you do that.

    • lyndseymarieee - Apr 26, 2012 at 10:39 PM

      not only that but the entire blog is a reblog of all of the articles on this site.

  12. MightyMoonWorm - Apr 26, 2012 at 5:46 PM

    Why do you hate semicolons so much, Kurt? Are the commas paying you off? Is that it?

    • progress2011 - Apr 26, 2012 at 6:18 PM

      DUDE….moonworm…whateva !!!

      If you want kurts job, send in a resume to msnbc.com. sit in front of the building, until someone from the HR Dept comes out…I don’t really care.

      But, grown-folk are talkin bout bball ….That’s It !

      This is not a grammar class. In fact, most of us use slang, intentionally. I go overboard, if dudes like you, try to turn blogging into a formal thesis.

      Hit the road dude.

    • jimeejohnson - Apr 26, 2012 at 8:51 PM

      You never expect the Spanish Inquisition, OR the grammar police!

  13. itsmammoth - Apr 26, 2012 at 6:07 PM

    Funny, I could’ve sworn Kobe was bragging about a month ago at how close he was to being the oldest scoring champion. Older than Jordan. hmm. Of course it doesn’t mean anything now. ;)

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