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2005: BET.com – Baller Bloggin

June 23, 2008

BET.com — Posted February 3, 2005 — In our latest edition of Baller
Bloggin, Jalen Rose has returned to the starting lineup. He is now
averaging more than 20 points per game after hitting a low of just 7
points and suffering through a low moment where he scored no points for
the first time since the ’90s. Recently, he even scored 31 points in 23
minutes, something only two other players have done in the last 10
years.

But that was all before the "Game That Made History." Lakers swingman
Kobe Bryant dropped 81 all over the Raptors on Jan. 22, prompting
bloggers, pundits and fans from around the world to believe that either
the Raptors played the worst defense in basketball history or Kobe’s a
baaad man. Of course, we’ve got Jalen’s take on that right here.

Blog #5 By Jalen Rose

HATE IT OR LOVE IT

"I think at the end of the year, the MVP trophy will be in Kobe’s living room."

You never want to be on the wrong side of history and being in a
Toronto Raptor uniform that night put us on the wrong side of history.
If I were at home watching it on TV, I would have enjoyed it a lot
better. At first we were winning. We felt him catching fire in the
third quarter in particular — I think he had hit three of four
three-pointers but we were up 15 points with time left in the third
quarter. At first, we thought he was just doing his thing because we
were trying to win the game. But then I realized every shot that he
took he was making. If you watch the highlights of that game, he had
three lay-ups and three dunks and everything else was jumpers, free
throws and the majority of them were contested jumpers.

Initially, I was guarding Lamar Odom but Mo Peterson started getting
into foul trouble and I said, "I want some of this." The number one
conversation besides "Stop Kobe!" was to win the game. If we won the
game, it wouldn’t have been as bad. It would have been, "He’s a ballhog
that scored 81 and lost." We were concentrating on trying to win the
game because we were leading by double figures at the half. He just
took it to another level that even he can’t describe. Nobody can
describe because its only been done one other time.

He’s on a complete other level at this point. Hate it or love it, the
underdog’s on top. I could be the first on line to hate because I was
out there. I know the endurance and the stamina and the strength that
it takes to score like that. I know how all the stars have to be in
line. It was a lunar eclipse. Ain’t nobody ever done it. Scorers like
Bernard King, David Thompson, George Gervin didn’t do it. Kobe was just
a blessed child that night. And it was his 666th NBA regular season
game. Picture that, right?

RESPECT DUE

"You never want anybody to have a career game against you, but it happens in sports."

In high school and college you can literally play a box and one (Ed.
Note: A defensive scheme where you have four defenders in a zone and
one guarding the offensive player man-to-man) and stop him, but in the
NBA you have to be properly spaced. You can’t be in the paint. In
college, you can stop an offensive output like that because college is
not about individual plays. That’s why no college players average 30
points.

You don’t want to be on the court when Michael Jordan drops 63 at
Boston Gardens or Barry Bonds hits his 73rd home run or on the field
when Jamal Lewis rushes for 280 yards. You never want somebody to have
a career game against you, but it happens in sports so I’m not ashamed
or embarrassed.

There are a lot of the theories of why didn’t we knock him or hurt him.
Damn right, I thought about it, but the game has changed. In the
mid-80’s you could take a guy and slam him to the ground, but now if
you flagrant foul you get ejected from the game and possibly suspended
for multiple games. Did I think about it? Yeah, I thought about it.

There are some unwritten rules in sports. In football, there’s a chop
block when an offensive lineman takes his head and shoulders against
the knees of a defensive player. It’s the same thing in basketball. One
of the dirtiest plays in basketball is when you stick your foot up
underneath a player who is airborne and try to hurt them. That’s an old
school yard dirty play. So I guess somebody could have easily done
that. There have been cases where it happens unintentionally. Vince
Carter accused Bruce Bowen of doing it two years ago. In the world’s
eyes, it would have made us hard or tough to stop him from scoring 81,
to stop him from embarrassing us, but the reality is he had a hell of a
night and you have to suck it up like a man.