Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Jack Taylor wowed LeBron, Kobe
ESPN.com news services
Attention, Grinnell College basketball office: LeBron James wants the tape from Jack Taylor's record-setting scoring spree, which left fellow NBA star Kobe Bryant awestruck.
James, of the NBA champion Miami Heat, and the Lakers' Bryant took plenty of notice of the Grinnell guard's record 138 points in only 36 minutes of playing time in a 179-104 victory over Faith Baptist Bible in Grinnell, Iowa. The Heat called their intern -- the day's designated shooter during a defensive drill for the team -- "Taylor" all morning during practice, and after the session, James was among those weighing in on the significance of the feat.
"It's unbelievable, honestly," James said. "I would like to see the game. I want to see the game."
Hard to believe, but after one record shooting night, a three-time NBA MVP like James was putting Taylor in the same breath as all-time superstars like Bryant and Wilt Chamberlain. By the end of his night, Taylor was 52-for-108 (27-for-71 from the 3-point line).
"I watched Kobe's game when he had 81," James said. "I watched some of the greatest games ever played when guys scored big numbers. There's two games that I would love to see: One was Wilt, when he had 100, and this kid, I want to see him, too. Sir Jack."
Bryant was astonished in his own right. "Wow. That's impressive. That's crazy. I don't care what level you're at. Scoring 138 points is pretty insane," he told reporters after the Lakers' victory Tuesday over the Brooklyn Nets. "How many 3s did he shoot?"
When told it was 71, Bryant said, "Holy s---. How many points did they score as a team?" Told 179, Bryant said, "That's incredible."
Bryant, who has a shoe that bears his "Black Mamba" nickname, has a theory.
"(Taylor) must have been wearing the Mambas, man. Only Mambas have no conscience to shoot the ball that much," Bryant said.
According to ESPN Stats & Information, Taylor used 69 percent of his team's possessions to get to 138 points. In Chamberlain's 100-point game, he used just 47 percent of his team's possessions. In Bryant's 81-point game, he used 51 percent of the Lakers' possessions.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra wasn't sure of the name of the school but knew plenty about what Taylor had done.
"A lot of us probably wished we were at, Grimmell? Is that where it is? Grinnell?" Spoelstra said.
James said he doesn't believe he's topped 56 points in any game. He scored that many against Toronto in 2005 but didn't remember any game as a young player or high schooler where he had more.
He said he couldn't even manipulate a video game well enough to score 100 points, noting that "you've got to mess with the rules and the users and all that stuff to get to that."
Bevo Francis of Rio Grande held the NCAA scoring record with 113 points against Hillsdale in 1954. In 1953, Francis had 116 against Ashland Junior College. Frank Selvy is the only other player to reach triple figures, scoring 100 points for Division I Furman against Newberry in 1954.
The previous Grinnell record was 89 by Griffin Lentsch last Nov. 19 against Principia.
Taylor's game was so astounding it overshadowed the 70 points Faith Baptist's David Larson had on 34-of-44 shooting.
Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks also were amazed by Taylor's
accomplishment when they heard about it after their victory in New Orleans.
"I never heard of nothing like that. That's like a video
game," Anthony said, an incredulous look on his face. "How can
you shoot 100 times, though?"
He joked that from now on when someone asks if he's taking too many shots, he'll mention "that someone shot it 108 times."
Raymond Felton also was astounded by the 108 shots.
"His elbow has got to be sore," Felton said.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.