Steph Curry becomes first player to make 400 3-pointers in an NBA season

041316_steph333

The Golden State Warriors are on their way their 73rd victory of the season, and Stephen Curry hit an equally preposterous milestone Wednesday. With his eighth 3-pointer of the game against the Memphis Grizzlies, the Warriors guard and reigning Most Valuable Player has made 400 3s on the season.

This has never been done before. Curry is the only player to even hit 300 3-pointers in a single season. He did that more than a month ago.

Last year, Curry made 286 3-pointers. That’s second all-time. Third is his teammate, Klay Thompson, this season. He’s made 276, including four on Wednesday.

This season, the Milwaukee Bucks made a total of 433 3-pointers. Three years ago, the Memphis Grizzlies made 382. No one has ever played the game remotely like Curry, and that’s why no one else has come close to reaching this record.

“Early in my career, I didn’t even like to shoot,” Steve Nash told Bruce Arther of the Toronto Star in December. “Different coaches had been imploring me to shoot, but you know, I’m a people pleaser. My mentality was, if I had a tough shot I would take it in the fourth quarter. I think Steph says, I make shots. So he’s constantly pushed the envelope of what kind of shots he can take.

“It’s almost like I didn’t know what Steph is doing was possible. Because I’d never seen it. He’s taken the things that those ahead of him did, and expanded on them at a rate that’s unbelievable. Some of the shots he takes, 10 or 20 years ago you would have said, what is he doing? I think he’s the most skilled player we’ve ever had, as far as all-around skill.”

Nash is one of Curry’s main influences, and he was one of the best and most creative players of his generation. Nash is also one of the greatest shooters in NBA history, a member of the 50-40-90 club. For years, Curry has been compared to Nash because of his style and skill level. In Nash’s 18 seasons in the NBA, though, he never made more than 179 3-pointers in a season. Four hundred? He never even attemped that many — his season high was 381 attempts.

Curry will soon join Nash, now a special assistant to the Warriors, as a two-time MVP. He’s also firmly established himself as the best shooter who has ever lived. The ones who came before him couldn’t even imagine this.

Lakers’ Kobe Bryant scores 60 points, makes NBA history in final game

NBA: Utah Jazz at Los Angeles Lakers
Apr 13, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Fans cheer after Los Angeles Lakers forward Kobe Bryant (24) hits a jump shot during the third quarter against the Utah Jazz at Staples Center. Bryant was playing in the final game of his NBA career. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant said goodbye to the NBA on Wednesday night, and he definitely did it on his terms. The Lakers star finished his final game with 60 points on a stunning 50 shots, the most of his NBA career and the most in NBA history since 1984.

It was the most points by a player in their final NBA game. It was the most shots taken in recorded NBA history, passing Michael Jordan. It was an unrelenting assault in the form of shots. The man so revered for his indomitable will showed it in gunning in a way never before seen. Bryant made his career by doing things his way the entire time, and it was that way in the end.

The night came amid emotional farewells from former teammates, rivals and fans. Bryant missed his first five shots, clearly caught up in the emotion of the moment, but once he got cooking, he went right to work.

For Bryant, whose game was always built upon usage, taking it on himself to drag his teams forward, it’s only fitting that the Lakers’ future Hall of Famer ended his career putting up an insane scoring night amid a torrent of shots.

Just One More for Curry and Bryant

13CURRYKOBE-COMBO-master675OAKLAND, Calif. — On his way to fulfilling his obligations for a news media maw that included roughly 20 television cameras, Stephen Curry turned to a staff member who was with him during his rookie 2009-10 season. Curry was struck by how much things had changed.

“Another ’09-type scrum,” Curry joked.

It was a different time, of course. Curry recalled that the Golden State Warriors were essentially out of the playoff picture by the All-Star break. Nobody was talking about records or legacies. His face was not splashed on magazine covers. He was merely trying to survive the grind of a taxing profession and improve.

On Tuesday, Curry and his teammates prepared for the opportunity to make more history. With a win against the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday at Oracle Arena, the Warriors (72-9) will own the N.B.A. record for victories in a single season, breaking their tie with the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls, who went 72-10.

“To be in this position is special,” Curry said, adding: “It’s a reminder of how far we’ve come. My first three years, we didn’t make the playoffs. So your perspective is a little different.”

If nothing else, the final day of the regular season will have some flair. As the Warriors close out their chase, Kobe Bryant is expected to appear in his final game when the Los Angeles Lakers host the Utah Jazz at Staples Center. Bryant, 37, announced in November that he would retire at the end of the season, his 20th with the Lakers.

Bryant won his fifth and final championship when Curry was a first-year player with the Warriors. But even as their careers overlapped for the past seven seasons, they are headliners of different eras, the slow erosion of Bryant’s game coinciding with Curry’s sharp emergence.

After Tuesday’s practice, Curry sounded almost wistful about the season and everything the Warriors had achieved. Curry recalled that when the San Antonio Spurs’ Gregg Popovich coached the Western Conference All-Stars in February, he gave a little speech in which he reminded the players to slow down and appreciate the present. The message stuck with Curry.

“It’s human nature at times to let your mind drift off,” Curry said, “but it cheats the beauty of what’s going on right now. It’s kind of like society in general — so fast paced. You’re always wondering about what’s going on next, what I have to do next — tomorrow, next week, next month.”

The Warriors are a relatively young team, and there is an understandable tendency to imagine their future and all the possibilities. What else can they accomplish? Curry wants to guard against that instinct. There are no guarantees — ask Bryant about the toll of injuries, about the turnover of team personnel — and the Warriors may never again find themselves in a position to hunt another record as fabled as the one held by the Michael Jordan-era Bulls.

“I didn’t understand how hard the 72 wins in the N.B.A. really was until I got into the N.B.A.,” Luke Walton, an assistant coach for the Warriors, said, “and then I remember thinking to myself that the record will never be touched because it’s just too hard to win that consistently. And for our guys to do what they’ve done all season is just incredible.”

It goes a long way toward explaining why Curry and teammates like Draymond Green and Klay Thompson have refused to miss a game down the stretch. It has become a thornier issue for the coaching staff. Walton acknowledged that Coach Steve Kerr’s late-season calculus would have been a lot of different if not for the team’s pursuit of 73 wins.

“The downside is normally none of our starters would be playing,” Walton said. “Because of what we’ve accomplished this season, and our guys saying they want to go for the record, our minds can’t switch strictly to that championship goal until after this game is over.”

On Tuesday, Kerr missed practice because of a doctor’s appointment, Walton said. Aside from Kerr’s absence, though, it was a fairly typical morning for the Warriors here at their training complex. They watched game film, worked on fundamentals and avoided any mention of the number 73, at least until they fielded about a bazillion questions from reporters.

“You can’t not talk about it at this point,” Green said. “The whole world is talking about it now. It’s everywhere. There’s no way to hide from it.”

The Warriors seemed pretty loose, all things considered. Several members of the Los Angeles Angels, including Mike Trout, attended practice. Celebrity cameos are a regular occurrence with the Warriors. It was no big deal.

“Talented guys in their trade,” Curry said. “So it’s pretty cool for them to come out and watch us practice.”

Bryant, who seems to study the game’s history as much as any player, has encouraged Curry and his teammates to pursue history, to collect championships. And on a night when Bryant says he will conclude his career, the Warriors will go about their own business — and continue to press forward.

2COMMENTS

“In Chicago, they have a championship banner that says 72-10,” Green said. “If we don’t win a championship, we’re not posting a banner that says — God willing — 73-9, unless we win the championship. As bad as I want this record, we need to get something to go along with it.”

The Second Coming of RG3

Everyone was crying. RG3 himself got it started, lying there in his hospital bed, totally immobile. Then his fiancée, Rebecca, and his mom welled up. Jackie never wanted her only son to play football in the first place, not really—what mother wants her son to play football?—but she relented when the 11-year-old pinkie-promised her he wouldn’t get hurt. And now this. Finally, even the quarterback’s military father, Robert Griffin Jr., the retired sergeant, the Iraq vet, “the guy who never cries,” according to his son—not even RG2 could choke back the tears. It was January 9, 2013, three days after Griffin’s historic rookie season ended with a nasty twist of his right knee in a playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks, and minutes after Griffin had woken up from surgery in Florida, opening his eyes to a real-life nightmare. His blown-out right knee was bandaged, but so was his healthy left one. That meant Dr. Andrews—James Andrews, one of the most celebrated orthopedic surgeons in America, the same guy who rebuilt Adrian Peterson’s miracle knee a year earlier—had needed to take a tendon graft from the left knee in order to repair the right. Two shredded ligaments, the LCL and ACL. Major reconstructive surgery. Seven to nine months of rehab. Minimum. A jumble of thoughts swirled and drifted into his foggy consciousness—flashbacks to the play that knocked him out, fears about whether he’d be ready for next season—and for once in his short and blessed life, Robert Griffin III just couldn’t deal. He didn’t feel like talking to the nurse, who hadn’t noticed that he’d come to. “So instead of trying to cope with that at the moment,” he recalls now, “I just went back to sleep.” ImageWhen he woke a short while later, he felt ready. Or at least readier. As his parents stood over his bed, Griffin apologized. “After I tore my ACL in college, I told them I would never do that to them again,” he says, referring to the 2009 ACL surgery—same knee—that cost him most of his sophomore season at Baylor. “So when I woke up this time, I said, ‘I’m sorry.’ I knew the kind of pain it was going to put them through, especially my mom. I’m the baby. I’m the only son. She doesn’t want to see her baby boy get hurt.”

Dr. Andrews joined them and reported that the procedure had gone well. When the conversation turned to rehab—specifically, When can I start?—Griffin had an idea: “Hey, when’s our first game?”

OKC Thunder vs. Memphis Grizzlies: Game 3 Score, Highlights and Analysis | Bleacher Report

OKC Thunder vs. Memphis Grizzlies: Game 3 Score, Highlights and Analysis | Bleacher Report (via http://ble.ac/teamstream-) http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1636814-okc-thunder-vs-memphis-grizzlies-game-3-score-highlights-and-analys?utm_source=teamstream&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=tsandroid

Predictions for Day 1 of the 2013 NFL Draft

ImageThe NFL draft kicks off Thursday, April 25, at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The first round gets underway at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN, and the draft itself goes through Saturday. Countless predictions have been made up until this point by both fans and media—most of which will be proven wrong once the picks are announced by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

The first day of the draft is a time of endless optimism. Every pick is a future Hall of Fame inductee as they’re whisked off to their new home cities for press conferences and media appearances. So, in that spirit of optimism, here are 10 more predictions that are sure to be right in the first round of the NFL draft.

Check out the Slideshow