The internet has been abuzz over Jack Taylor this morning, the Division III basketball player for Grinnell College in Iowa that scored 138 points in a game against Faith Baptist Bible College last night. When the feat was brought to the attention of noted NBA scorer Kobe Bryant, he was similarly impressed.
“Bryant: ‘Really? Wow. That’s impressive. That’s crazy. I don’t care what level you’re at. Scoring 138 points is pretty insane. How many threes did he shoot?’ Reporter: 71. Bryant: ‘Holy sh–. How many points did they score as a team?’ Reporter: 179. Bryant: ‘What?!’ Reporter: No other starter had double figures. Bryant: ‘That’s incredible.’ Reporter: Dude on the other team scored 71 points and lost. Bryant: ‘That’s amazing. He must have been wearing the Mambas, man. Only Mambas have no conscious to shoot the ball like that.’
Reporter: If you did that, would people be celebrating you? Bryant: ‘Would people be celebrating me if I scored 138 points? You know how it is, some people would, some people wouldn’t. They can all kiss my ass as I’m sure he feels the same way. If you score 138 points, you kind of have a license to tell people to f*ck off.'”
Though as Deadspin’s Barry Petchesky points out, the performance really wasn’t all that impressive – disgraceful, even. A combination of self-congratulating machismo, disregard of all principles basketball and unwavering servitude looms over the record-shattering performance, completely undermining the facade of dominance. Even those who were there could see it, a team passing up open layups for one man to heave three-pointer after three-pointer. At least in the NBA, scoring feats are achieved under the stress of an NBA opponent, and, well, passing the ball and trying to win. Meaning, other people shoot, too.
I’m also pretty sure that Kobe Bryant has been walking around with that self-approved “f– off” license for quite a while now, creating a firm divide between his detractors and supporters. Because with Bryant you’re on one side of the fence or the other, kissing his ass or not kissing his ass. And though it seems that Jack Taylor is merely a tool wielded by his record-savoring head coach, the system more polarizing than the player, Bryant’s uninformed reaction (He didn’t know how thos points were scored) is interesting. That he immediately retreats to the defensive, the “I’m Kobe Bryant, deal with it” refrain, epitomizes his entire career. He’s never really adapted his game to suit those watching (the few times he has passed, it was out of spite), and he doesn’t want to see another player standing momentarily in his shoes to do it any other way.