NBA fans will be tuning in tonight to watch Jelly Bean Jr (Kobe Bryant) in action against the Sacramento Kings in hopes of seeing Bryant try and take the NBA scoring title from Thunder forward Kevin Durant.. To the disappointment of many(besides maybe http://thunderousintentions.com/ Editor Andrew Kennedy) Bryant will be sitting this game out, allowing Kevin Durant to claim the “fake” prize
A lot of fuss has been made over the past few days about the scoring title. Who would win it? Would the Thunder feed Durant the ball? Would Kobe hoist hoist up 50 shots? Surprisingly, what’s drawn almost no attention at all is the fact that the title means absolutely NOTHING in the grand scheme of things. Its common knowledge amongst basketball purists that Kobe Bryant has 5 NBA Championships, but can you tell me how many scoring titles he has? Probably not. That goes for just about every superstar in the league.
Unless you are a die-hard fan of a player who has never won a championship but has scored an abundance of points (I’m looking at you Tracy McGrady) you would have no idea how many scoring titles any player past or present has won in the NBA. Try and name the last 10 scoring champions without bunching repeat winners together. You probably would guess some winners correctly. Kevin Durant, Allen Iverson, Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan are names that come to mind. Those are easy picks. Does winning the scoring title really add that much to a career in terms of hall-of-fame credentials?
The short answer is no. The long answer is Allen Iverson. He’s a perfect example of a “scorer”. While we all may know who he is now, 30 years from today your children will not. His job while he played in the league was to make buckets. He did that extremely well on route to winning the scoring title 4 times. Outside of one NBA Finals appearance, those “records” did not equal much in the way of NBA Championships. Last time I checked, nobody on SportsCenter was telling us who led the league in scoring 30 years ago. Yet during every NBA Finals we are reminded of the greats who won NBA Championships. The Larry O’Brien Award won’t let us forget Bill Rusell.
The fictional scoring championship did not help us remember Adrian Dantley.
Just go back 30 years in time. If you were to remove Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant from the list of winners, how many of these prolific scorers won NBA titles? The answer is 2. To be honest, in that 30 year time span, Kobe and Jordan combined for 11 NBA titles and 9 scoring championships. That still leaves 19 NBA titles and 21 scoring championships for 3 decades worth of players. Only Shaquille “I ruin the best halftime show nightly” O’Neal and Dwayne Wade have been able to capture NBA titles as well as scoring championships.
I’m not trying to say that scoring baskets is not important. In a game that requires you to put a ball into a basket, it’s very important. I just think a little too much has been made about these “scoring titles”. When did we start ranking the greatest players ever by how many times they led the league in scoring? Obviously if you are a fan of big time scorers, their chance at the title means something to you. Your going to argue that I took Jordan and Kobe out of the mix, saying that pushes the argument more to my side. You are only half right. They were taken out of the equation because they are 2 of the 7 greatest players ever. They were 2 of the most dominating scorers of all-time. Comparing Jordan and Kobe to other scoring champions such as Iverson or Tracy McGrady is not only silly, but down right wrong! It would be like comparing Sammy Sosa to Babe Ruth.
George Gervin won the scoring title 4 times. Alex English and Bernard King both won once. Adrian Dantley won twice and Allen Iverson won 4 times. That leaves us with 13 years of great scoring but little in the way of championship rings. So while everyone will be celebrating Durant’s 3rd scoring title this season, I will be slowly researching ways to invent titles to elevate players.
How come they don’t hand out fictional assists to turnover awards?
Joseph Nardone is a Writer/Blogger for Sir Charles In Charge. You can follow him on the twitter machine@JosephNardone