Golden State Warriors fans don't like to be reminded that they could have had the next Greatest Basketball Player In The World, but instead drafted Todd Fuller when Kobe Bryant was still available in the 1996 NBA Draft. Oh, sorry Golden State Warriors fans.
But Kobe did provide the Warriors with a nice little assist last night, sparing their defense an embarrassing distinction for the season thus far.
Duncan scored 17 in the first quarter alone, good enough to make that the most productive first quarter in terms of points for any player yet this season.
Or it would have?
Three time zones to the east, Kobe was busy setting the all-time scoring record in Madison Square Garden.
His first quarter point total? One point more, 18, scored in the first quarter the very same evening. The admittedly very minor distinction goes to Kobe.
The difference in the two performances was that the Warriors managed a nice adjustment on Duncan, whereas the Knicks allowed Kobe to continue to operate as if endowed with special powers and playing in a video game. Counter intuitively, Don Nelson ceased double-teaming Duncan and turned up the Turiaf on him. Without his accustomed passing options open, Duncan was more dazed than Michael Phelps in an Amsterdam cafe and the Spurs committed a season-high 20 turnovers.
But Golden State being Golden State, the big lead the Warriors enjoyed following their brilliant adjustment evaporated in the fourth and they lost the game in OT.
But thanks to Kobe, your Warriors will be teased a little less hard on today's scores and highlights reels.