Moments like these are becoming so frequent, Land O' Lakers is looking ahead to save time.
That's what Brian and I thought when we finished this sleek little project commemorating Kobe at the 25K mark. And with all hype over Jackson, it kinda flew under the radar Derek Fisher drilled three-pointer #1,000 against Charlotte.
Basically, there's always a milestone on the immediate horizon in purple and gold country, which means lots and lots and lots and lots and LOTS of extra work for the K Brothers. To be honest, we're getting sick of it. Thus, Brian and I decided to get proactive, dig deep into the record books, and cover our bases for the next time our editors' nostalgia leads to additional assignments. Now it's as simple as linking back to this post and calling it a day.
-We'll start with the most obvious candidate. Lord knows Kobe's always on the verge of busting some threshold. For example, another 17 offensive rebounds and he passes Elden Campbell (1,207) for seventh highest in team history. And next season will be his 15th with the Lakers, pushing him past Kareem, Elgin, Magic and The Logo for the most time spent in purple and gold. (A record likely to remain intact, unless Andrew Bynum ends up a Laker for life.)
-Pau Gasol, recently celebrated for the milestone of two years in L.A., needs just 449 points to hit 12,000. He's also exactly 44 shy of 2,000 career assists, allowing another way of bringing West into these conversation. For that matter, his 488 Laker dimes are just 10 away from Riley and a 55th-place, so it's truly "Riles-passing" season these days.
And if that's not enough, El Spaniard's one turnover away from a cool 1,500 on a career! C'mon, bad pass or bobble! C'mon, bad pass or bobble!
Finally, Gasol is 226 field goal attempts from an even 2000 in purple and gold. Bynum is 149 away from the same mark. If the Memphis game is any indication, they’ll make it by 2014. Zing!
-If Derek Fisher ever seems a little eager for Kobe to rest his bad ankle/entire body, there could be an ulterior motive: Fish is two games behind Kobe (998) in games played. Obviously, 24 can't be caught if he continues to never miss games. Also, with 1,439 personal fouls, Fish needs only 15 more to tie the great Slater Martin (1,454) for 19th all-time in purple and gold.
-Shannon Brown (751 points) needs 249 to hit 1,000 on a career. Or 9,249 to reach 10,000, however you prefer to view it. And with minds so focused on PJ lapping Riley, the same contest also featured Shannon passing J.R. Rider for 174th-place for games played as a Laker (68) and neither of us said jack about it. We suck. Oddly enough, with 67 made free throws, Brown's just five below Rider's Laker totals and a jump from 165th to 160th-place. His 82 attempted freebies (T-174th) also place him just one behind Rider and a tie at 172nd.
In other words, J.R. Rider is Shannon Brown's Green Goblin when it comes to purple and gold glory.
With 182 purple and gold points, #195 overall D.J. Mbenga needs just 34 more to pass Mark McNamara and OWN the 190th standing. (For those keeping tabs, that's just 25,032 points from passing Kobe.) Also, with one three-pointer chucked, Mbenga enters a fourteen-way tie for 129th-place. Merely four more, make or miss, leapfrogs D.J. past icons like Kurt Rambis and into a three-way tie for 97th-place, which is equal with Pau.
Perhaps I'm placing too much importance on such hallowed ground, but I think D.J. would be crazy not to take the treys. Particularly since Fish (59) is only two purple and gold blocks away from joining him in 44th place, making even more pressing the need to carve out better real estate.
-Ron Artest, who's only been playing game for the Lakers since late October and missed five with a concussion, is already at 156th for field goals attempted (434). Two more pushes him past Wes Matthews. Considering Ron-Ron has often needed prodding to shoot, this demonstrates the serious progress one can make up the ladder by virtue of getting starter's minutes.
-More numbers involving West getting dusted: Sasha Vujacic and Josh Powell, already tied with the great Karl Malone for blocked shots as Lakers (20), need just four more swats to skyrocket past The Logo into 89th place. (Before anyone denigrates West for this low showing over an entire career, his final season was the only one where this stat was formally tracked.)
Vujacic is also currently eighth all-time for Laker three-pointers made with 354 and needs 75 to pass Coop for seventh place. More importantly, he needs to maintain pace, lest he get lapped by Lamar Odom (12th-269). Here's where the quandary kicks in. Sasha is finally playing largely under control in short stints, avoiding instincts to jam twenty minutes worth of "production" into seven minutes of burn. On the other hand, there are so few areas where Sasha can make such a grand mark as a Laker, and his PT only appears to be shrinking.
Final answer: Shoot Sasha shoot!
And speaking of The Machine's nemesis LO and local three-point glory...
-Jordan Farmar, 13th all-time for treys canned (256), is nipping at Lamar's heels. Brian and I have both noticed LO taking more treys this season (117 and counting vs. 103 in 2009) and assumed between Pau, Drew, Kobe and Artest, there just wasn't enough room in the post. Perhaps Odom (269) is buffering himself against Farmar? Is the pursuit of immortality tearing this team apart? At any rate, six more and LO passes Big Shot Rob on the Laker list.
In the meantime, Farmar has just 152 points to go before putting "two grand" on his resume.
Odom is just nine FGs away from 2,092 in all, a tally Brian arbitrarily declared "milestone-worthy." Deal with it.
-Adam Morrison remains a scant 10,121 dimes away from tying Magic Johnson as the franchise's all-time leader for assists. For now, he's taking the chase one assist at a time and looking to gather purple and gold dime #15, along with five-way action at 243rd-place.
-Luke Walton is 25th in steals (255) for the Lakers, only four behind Smush Parker. On general principle, I think Lakers fans would agree it's a must for him to knock William Henry down a peg. Walton is also only 22,876 from passing Jerry West for second all-time in points… but it would only be second place, so why bother?
All records information courtesy of basketball-reference.com.