Living in Los Angeles, I’m subjected to solely Laker love in every media outlet around me. I can’t say I blame them as they do have a great team, and Kobe is one of the greatest players of all time. Today I was watching local KCAL9 sportscaster, Jim Brown, talk about Kobe’s amazing feat of being the youngest player to score 24,000 points in NBA history. It is pretty cool and all, but he did get a little jump start on some of the competition by being in the league at 18 years old. Regardless of what anyone thinks it’s an impressive accomplishment, but I don’t think it should garner as much attention as it has gotten. I agree with Phil Jackson’s comments that the media is making too big a deal out of 24K and should wait until a bigger milestone like 25,000 points. It doesn’t seem like that great of a milestone, but it’s getting hype from Sportscenter, and nearly every media outlet in LA. Anyways, later in the broadcast, sportsguy Jim Brown, said that they should retire both of Kobe’s Lakers numbers 24 and 8! I laughed out loud when I was sitting here by myself! Kobe is a great player, and if he gets a little lucky he could still match MJ’s ring total, but does any player deserve to have two numbers retired for the same team!?! I say no! Whatever number he won more championships with they should use that number. Jordan didn’t get 45 retired so why should Kobe get two? If they chose 8, he would once again be tied to Shaq but this time in the rafters. I think that has a funny ring to it 34 and 8. They had so many disputes that this would be a backhanded compliment to them both. If Kobe goes on to win two more championships, then maybe I’ll reconsider my position.
Tag Archives: 24
Rickey Henderson is getting honored for his services in Oakland as the Athletics will retire his number 24 in a pre-game ceremony on August 1st. (Catcher Kurt Suzuki already switched from 24 to 8 at the beginning of the season) Rickey is also a very deserved first ballot for the Hall of Fame inductee this year, and got in as easy as it was to tell himself that he was the best (with 94.8% of votes). I’m already excited for his induction speech that will fall on July 26th! Rickey was my favorite player growing up. I even bought those ridiculous neon green Mizuno batting gloves, and practiced the snatch catch in my little league days. He played 14 of his 25 seasons in Oakland wearing green and gold for most of his prime including his lone MVP season. It’s only fitting that they retire his number, as he was arguably the greatest leadoff hitter of all time and always an Athletic at heart. It will be a long time until we ever see a player that can steal bases and hit for power (81 leadoff homers the MLB record) from the top spot in the order.
His induction to the Hall of Fame on January 12th could be one of the last first ballot players to make it for awhile with the steroid cloud looming over many of the players that will become eligible in the upcoming years. Rickey will be remembered for his cocky attitude and strong opinions that made him the fun player he was on and off the field. A reporter once asked Henderson about Ken Caminiti’s estimation that 50 percent of Major League players were taking steroids. His response was, “Well, Rickey’s not one of them, so that’s 49 percent right there.”
His constant self appraisal from the third person is always entertaining, “Listen, people are always saying, ‘Rickey says Rickey.’ But it’s been blown way out of proportion. People might catch me, when they know I’m ticked off, saying, ‘Rickey, what the heck are you doing, Rickey?’ They say, ‘Darn, Rickey, what are you saying Rickey for? Why don’t you just say, ‘I?’ But I never did. I always said, ‘Rickey,’ and it became something for people to joke about.”
“Do I talk to myself? No, I just remind myself of what I’m trying to do. You know, I never answer myself so how can I be talking to myself?”
His stats speak for themselves as he is on top of some of the all time lists:
#1 all time with 1,406 Stolen Bases and 2,295 Runs, 1990 MVP, 10 time All Star, 12 time stolen base champ, 1 Gold Glove, 297 Home Runs, 3,055 hits, 2nd all time with 2,190 walks, and 2 World Series Rings 89 in Oakland and 93 with Toronto. I’d list more, but you can check them out on baseball reference if you’d like to.
I hope you tune in to his HOF induction and number retirement ceremony, because I’m sure his speeches will be classic!