Friday, August 1, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Kobe on milestone; Lakers coach suspended

Kobe Bryant needs 24 points to pass Shaquille O'Neal and move into fifth place on the NBA's all-time scoring list. And he might have the chance to do it in Philadelphia tonight against the Sixers.

Kobe on milestone; Lakers coach suspended

Kobe Bryant needs 24 points to pass Shaquille O'Neal and move into fifth place on the NBA's all-time scoring list. And he might have the chance to do it in Philadelphia tonight against the Sixers.

"It has a great deal of significance," Bryant said of playing in Philly and potentially getting the milestone. "Now more so than when I used to come back here when I was 21 or 22 because I don't know how many more times I'll be playing in front of Philadelphia fans at this stage of my career."

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Lakers coach Mike Brown has been suspended by the NBA for one game and fined $25,000 for making contact with an official and failure to leave the court in a timely manner, the league announced.

He will not be on the bench for tonight's game against the Sixers at the Wells Fargo Center.

Brown was ejected from the Lakers' loss in Utah on Saturday night and appeared to bump referee Zach Zarba. After the game, Brown would not confirm that he bumped Zarba. "I don't know," Brown said. "I'm just upset about the loss."

This morning at the Lakers' shootaround, Brown said, "I understand it. They have a protocol they have to follow. We've got a veteran staff. We've got veteran players. I put the guys in a hole in Utah. It was a game we still had a chance to win."

Brown said he will watch the game from the team hotel and get cheesesteaks from Larry's, a spot up by St. Joe's.

Brown's explosion came when he was arguing a no-call at the start of the fourth quarter. The game had been tied to begin the period, but Utah went on a 14-0 run to blow the game open.

"I got two techs, I shouldn't have got the two techs," he said after the game. "It put our guys in a deeper hole than we were already in and that probably cost the game. So, I apologized to our guys. I take most of the responsibility for that. Having said that, Utah came out and were physical with us from the beginning. ... You got to give Utah credit for the way they played tonight because they played a very good basketball game."

With Brown suspended, a familiar face to Philadelphia will coach the Lakers - former Sixers assistant John Kuester. Kuester coached the end of Saturday's game and picked up another technical.

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To read our earlier post about Spencer Hawes, Elton Brand and Doug Collins on Kobe, click here.

About this blog
Bob Cooney has been at the Daily News for more than 20 years, working in the sports department for the past 15. This is his third season on the Sixers beat. He has covered just about everything, but mostly college basketball, where he was the La Salle beat writer for six seasons. E-mail Bob at cooneyb@phillynews.com and follow him on Twitter.

Bob Cooney
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