Speed Read: Kobe Bryant Scores 61, Owns MSG

So much for the Andrew Bynum injury slowing down the Lakers. All they needed was the return of a black mamba.

Kobe Bryant Back to the Future DeLorean

(After the game, Kobe went back and broke James Naismith’s peach basket with one of his trademark, snake-jumping jams.)

Just a few hours after learning that the team’s young emerging center would be lost to an extended injury again, Kobe Bryant decided to light up Madison Square Garden like a Christmas tree, torching the Knicks’ sloppy defense for an MSG record 61 points in Los Angeles’ latest win.

OK, it was a record for the modern MSG. But regardless of what era of monosodiumglutenate you’re referencing, 61 points is a doozie of a game. The amazing thing is that Bynum’s absence is almost certainly what pushed Bryant over the top. Even Dwayne Wade, watching the mamba’s highlights from Miami’s own Monday night victory (where D-Wade dropped 32 points himself) said you could tell that Bryant was on a very specific mission: He was going to dominate, come hell or high water.

“I’ve never had a night like that,” said Heat guard Dwayne Wade who scored 32 in Miami’s win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night. “You could tell, just watching the highlights, he had a pep in his step and he was on a mission. With Bynum out, he’s going to have to do a little more, and I think he understands that. I mean, 61 points, that’s Kobe — that’s all you can say.”

Oh, and nearby Michael Beasley’s response? “Kobe scored 61?” he asked. “You serious?”

Yes, we’re serious, and the rest of the NBA better be, too, if Bryant keeps this crusade alive for the remainder of Bynum’s absence.

Of course, all the basketball news wasn’t limited to the NBA. Not when Bob Knight’s name is back being bantered about. In the latest installment of the rumor that will not die, Knight is still very interested in becoming the next head coach of the Georgia Bulldogs. No one knows if Georgia is interested in him, and at least one Georgia player has already come out with an absolutely tremendous comment about being coached up by Knight, as we pointed out earlier today.

“I’d like to play for Coach Knight — as long as he doesn’t hit me,” freshman forward Trey Thompkins said.

Trey Thompkins, may we be the first to say that you should start working the higher-ups at Comedy Central. You may have a future in stand-up, dude. Let’s hope you do, because if Knight gets the job, you ain’t playing much after that quote.

Still, all this Bobby Knight hype may just be obscuring the truth behind why Knight may be “interested” in alleging interest in UGA: Maybe he’s just trying to distract the mainstream media from the histrionics his son pulled over the weekend.

THE BIG LEAD was the first source we saw shopping the theory, so we’re inclined to give them the credit for it. And you know what? It’s a good one. The last thing the Knight family needs is another member going awol on a ref, and Pat Knight came dangerously close to doing just that on Saturday, running right at one twice and having to be restrained by two separate assistant coaches.

In fact, the incident was downright scary in just how much it looked like his old man’s work. Now, instead of a week full of talking points about how the new Knight is just as bad as the old one, we’re talking about the old one being interested in a job, whether he really is or not. It’s a brilliant game of paternal brinksmanship, and Knight is just the kind of Dad who’s smart enough to pull it off … if he cares that much about his son.

bob knight espn trance
(Admit it: You’d want to get as far away from Dickie V as possible, too.)

Now, there’s no proof that he does care that much about his son, but for the sake of the argument we’re going to buy it. This is too good a conspiracy theory not to indulge.

There was college news from the football arena, too. Apparently Ohio State’s linemen are not taking three-straight BCS losses well after the fact, with former Buckeye Alex Boone going positively nuts while drunk out of his mind Sunday night in California, where he’s allegedly preparing for the NFL Draft.

According to police reports out of Alisa Viejo, Calif., Boone was so uncooperative that he had to be stunned with tasers multiple times while he was already in jail. That’s right, he was in such a drunken belligerent that he was picking fights with cops while already booked.

alex boone mug shot
(The Alex Boone entry to the sad mug shot pantheon.)

It’s a sad story, because Boone was allegedly off the drink after a 2006 DUI incident. He’d talked openly about binge drinking and how he needed to stop it to save his future. Evidently he lost sight of that while out in idyllic Orange County.

For her part, Boone’s mom is out seeking sympathy for her son, and she may need to get some if NFL teams are going to take him seriously.

“(I talked to him) and he’s hurting. He feels terrible that he let so many people down,” Amy Boone said. “What do you do? You tell him you love him and support him and that we’ll go after this (problem) like we need to.”

Right now, Boone feels way too much like the next Andy Katzenmoyer. Unless he’s got a heck of an alibi or great conspiracy theory for his personal Super Bowl party, he may not even get Katzenmoyer’s chance.

Roger Clemens, there’s a man who needs a great conspiracy theory. He better get working on a new one soon, because there’s no evidence that the man has done some needle pushing into his backside.

According to a report in THE WASHINGTON POST, DNA from blood contained in syringes that were supplied to a federal grand jury by Clemens’ former trainer, Brian McNamee, matches Clemens’ own DNA. It’s not quite a murder scene conviction, but it’s going to be awful hard for Clemens to claim that all this blood was McNamee’s way of testing him for suitability to B-12 shots.

Roger Clemens Congressional Hearing

Naturally, Clemens’s defense team is already claiming that the new evidence proves nothing, and only undermines how circumspect anything provided by the prosecution really is.

Rusty Hardin, Clemens’s Houston-based defense attorney, said the DNA tests “won’t matter at all.”

“It will still be evidence fabricated by McNamee,” Hardin said. “I would be dumbfounded if any responsible person ever found this to be reliable or credible evidence in any way.”

Sure, Rusty. And if you believe that a jury will hear the phrase “DNA evidence” and not be somewhat swayed by it, man, do I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn. Clemens’s defense may not be sunk yet, but the ship be sinking, and it’s been sinking for a long time. Sooner or later it has to hit the sea floor, and it sure feels like we’re getting close.

  • Speaking of baseball, why, exactly, did the Mets spend $36 million on a pitcher who has a combined record of 26-20 in the National League when they could have spent $3 million more per season to land a guy whose a proven playoff horse? We’re just asking.
  • From the same source: Adam Dunn is the new Harmon Killebrew … or Reggie Jackson? Sheesh, sign us up!
  • Yes, it’s only February, but we really like hardball. And the Dodgers really like Manny Ramirez. In fact, GM Ned Colletti likes him $25 million per year much. Our calculations say that’s a lot.
  • If you thought porn was the only sex peddled during the Super Bowl, evidently you weren’t watching in Houston. That telecast aired an ad for a service that helps married folks “discreetly” have sex with other married folks. Really. Go check out ASHLEYMADISON.com for yourself, or watch the ad below.

  • Well, MILWAUKEE JOURNAL-SENTINEL, bet you thought no one was quick enough with the screen grab machine to catch you, did you? Did you? Hah! We sports bloggers, we’re fast!
  • In case you missed it, Bob Hayes’ sister read an emotional letter after the deceased receiver and world’s fastest man was picked for the NFL Hall of Fame. There’s just one problem: She may be a big fraud.
  • The latest soccer take on our favorite running video segment: “Man that was unnecessarily painful!” Our take? Owwwwwwwww.

  • If you watch one mid-major face off before the NCAA Tournament, it should probably be this one, announced Monday: Butler at Davidson. Stephen Curry vs. four unathletic looking guys who all average 13 points-per-game. And they’re white. Amazingly, this game still has sex appeal.
  • Also, maybe UConn deserved to be No. 1, huh? Ask Louisville.
  • You want ugly uniforms? These are ugly uniforms.
  • Remember how we were blabbing about the soccer transfer deadline yesterday? Well, it had two notable strange results: 1) A team which sold a player to another team for $30 million in the summer bought him back for $21 million (and the player pocketed $5 million in his 10-percent fees between the two sales) and another guy was sold because he was mad that his coach called him “Charles Insomnia” in a press conference. Hey, it could have been an honest mistake, the guy’s name is N’Zogbia. Besides, you think Phil Jackson would have caved like that? Not a chance.

With Andrew Bynum missing another chunk of time, how far will the Lakers go this season?

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