Between Doc Rivers returning to Boston, the Knicks barely avoiding another disastrous loss (and Mike Woodson living to see another day), the Warriors and Mavericks giving us another late night Western Conference thriller and other storylines from a busy night in the Association, you may have missed the fact that Antawn Jamison became just the 39th player in NBA history to eclipse the 20,000-point mark.
In fact, when you consider that the 20K plateau is usually seen as a Hall of Fame bench mark, it's understandable that many of us didn't even realize Jamison was within range of such a prestigious milestone. Of the 39 players to hit the mark, 34 are either in the Hall of Fame or will be without question, Allen Iverson and Vince Carter (a fellow 1998 draftee who was traded for Jamison on Draft night) should make it 35-36 out of 39, and Jamison will likely join Mitch Richmond and Tom Chambers as the rare 20,000-point men without Hall passes (Here's a career comparison of Carter, Iverson, Jamison, Richmond and Chambers).
But while we know Jamison is almost surely not a Hall of Famer and isn't actually one of the best 40 scorers to ever grace an NBA court, it's still important to respect, admire and honor players like Antawn for their durability, longevity and most importantly, their consistency.
To wit, over a nine-season span from 2000-01 through 2008-09, Jamison missed a total of just 30 games, averaging over 78 games played per year during that span. Over a 13-year span from his sophomore season of 1999-00 through the lockout shortened 2011-12 season, Jamison averaged 20 points, 7.9 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.0 steals in 37 minutes per game.
Sure, he's never advanced past the second round of the playoffs, but he also went to the playoffs six times in a seven-season span between 2003-04 and 2009-10, averaging over 36 minutes per postseason game during that run with the Mavericks, Wizards and Cavaliers.
He only made two All-Star games (2005 and 2008), he never made an All-NBA team (unless you count the 1999 All-Rookie 2nd Team) and his next greatest individual achievement may have been a single Eastern Conference Player of the Week honor in mid-March of 2008, but here Jamison is, still hanging on in NBA season No. 16 and still logging some minutes for a current contender.
Not every player can win a championship, win awards or become a Hall of Famer, but that doesn't diminish feats of longevity and consistency, and Jamison has surely reached such a feat in not only lasting 16 years in the NBA, but becoming one of just 39 players to ever hit the 20,000-point barrier.
A lot of champions and award winners might even take that career.
About last night...
Magic 92, Bobcats 83 - Orlando came into the game having lost six straight.
Clippers 96, Celtics 88 - So much Doc emotion...
Pelicans 111, Pistons 106 (OT) - Jason Smith with a random 22-point, 16-rebound performance. New Orleans, now 10-10, has found a way to hover in and around .500 without Anthony Davis. Their upcoming schedule is brutally tough, though.
Spurs 109, Bucks 77 - Tim Duncan had 21 points on 9-of-12 shooting, 16 rebounds, three assists and two blocks...in 24 minutes.
Timberwolves 106, 76ers 99 - Minnesota erased a 19-point first quarter deficit and recovered from allowing 39 first quarter points to hold Philly to 22 or less in the remaining three periods.
Knicks 83, Bulls 78 - The Bulls rallied from 23 down in the third quarter to tie the game in the final minutes before their sputtering offense fell apart (again).
Thunder 116, Grizzlies 100 - Russell Westbrook poured in 27 points, nine assists, six rebounds and two steals in just 27 minutes.
Jazz 122, Kings 101 - Sacramento somehow went from blowing out the Mavericks on Monday night to getting embarrassed at home by the NBA-worst Jazz on Wednesday night. But Rudy Gay is coming to save the day!
Warriors 95, Mavericks 93 - Stephen Curry and the Warriors rallied from a 12-point fourth quarter deficit and capped the comeback with this shot:
Golden State really should have been hit with a technical after the shot, however, as players ran onto the court to celebrate with Curry assuming that Dallas had taken or was about to take a timeout, which they didn't because they were out of them.
Line of the night: Carmelo Anthony - 30 Pts (9/21 FG, 1/3 3PT, 11/12 FT), 10 Reb, 4 Ast, 3 Stl, 1 Blk, 2 TO in 41 mins.
Play of the night:
On tap tonight: This week's TNT doubleheader has the Clippers in Brooklyn and the Rockets in Portland. The reunions continue for Doc Rivers, as he'll coach against Paul Pierce's and Kevin Garnett's Nets, who are looking for a third straight win, before the West-leading Blazers and fifth-place Rockets do battle in another late night Western showdown.
Felton out: Mike Woodson said Wednesday that Raymond Felton will probably be out "a little while" after aggravating a hamstring injury. Felton isn't exactly carrying his weight for this miserable Knicks team (10.3 PPG, 5.2 APG, 2.4 RPG, 39.4 FG%, 12.10 PER), but New York simply can't afford to miss another regular rotation player for too long. If anything, the fact that missing Felton might hurt the Knicks is as much a testament to the low quality of this flawed roster as anything.
Bulls, Augustin reach deal: Speaking of desperate teams, the Bulls are reportedly set to sign D.J. Augustin after the point guard cleared waivers following being cut by the Raptors. Augustin's fall from young NBA guard on the rise to one of the worst players in the Association has been stunning over the last couple of years, and Chicago's quick signing of him so quickly after Toronto waived him just goes to show how desperate the Bulls are for some sort of ball handling and scoring potential.
The final piece for Raptors, Kings: Expect officially official confirmation on the Raptors/Kings trade today, as even though the trade was first struck on Sunday and then approved on Monday, Greivis Vasquez only underwent his physical in Toronto last night, so the deal will technically become complete upon news that the Venezuelan point guard passed that physical. Once that happens, Vasquez, Rudy Gay, Quincy Acy, Aaron Gray, Chuck Hayes, Patrick Patterson and John Salmons will finally be able to suit up for their new teams.