By Ben Golliver
You knew that Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, possibly the least apologetic gunner in NBA history, would approve of Grinnell College's Jack Taylor, who set an NCAA scoring record by netting 138 points in a Division III game against Faith Baptist Bible on Tuesday night. Taylor shot 52-of-108 overall and 27-for-71 on three-pointers in 36 minutes. If you're thinking those numbers sound totally nuts, you're correct. Grinnell's strategy is built around pressing on defense and bombing away on offense.
Bryant, who scored 81 points on 28-for-46 shooting in a 2006 game against the Raptors, the most since Hall of Famer Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points for the Philadelphia Warriors against the New York Knicks back in 1962, called Taylor's performance "amazing" following the Lakers' 95-90 victory over the Nets at the Staples Center on Tuesday night.
Here's a portion of Bryant's post-game exchange with reporters, in which he credits his signature Nike shoes for the scoring outburst, via ESPNLA.com.
Bryant: "Really? Wow. That's impressive. That's crazy. I don't care what level you're at. Scoring 138 points is pretty insane. How many 3s did he shoot?"
Bryant: "That's amazing. He must have been wearing the Mambas, man. Only Mambas have no conscious to shoot the ball like that."
Reporter: If you did that, would people be celebrating you?
Bryant: "Would people be celebrating me if I scored 138 points? You know how it is, some people would, some people wouldn't. They can all kiss my [expletive] as I'm sure he feels the same way. If you score 138 points, you kind of have a license to tell people to [expletive] off."
Respect given, from one gunner to another.
Bryant, a career 45.4 percent shooter, can relate to the nitpicking of Taylor's accomplishment that began almost immediately after word started spreading out of Iowa on Tuesday night. For the record, Taylor shot a respectable 48 percent from the field and a solid 38 percent from deep. Neither mark is what you might expect given the eye-popping scoring tally, but he wasn't exactly throwing away possessions. There was one number that killed Taylor though: zero assists. That's an area where he could have used some advice from the Lakers All-Star, who ranks No. 5 all-time on the NBA's scoring list. On his 81-point night, Bryant managed to tally two dimes against his 46 shot attempts.