'Embarrassed' Kobe says he isn't chasing Wilt's 100

Updated: January 30, 2006, 11:37 PM ET
Reuters

NEW YORK -- Kobe Bryant feels a bit sheepish about his 81-point performance and says he is not caught up in a chase of Wilt Chamberlain's record of 100.

Shooting Guard
Los Angeles Lakers

Profile
2006 SEASON STATISTICS
GM PPG RPG APG FG% FT%
41 35.9 5.6 4.3 44.876 83.964

"I'm a little bit embarrassed, actually," Bryant told reporters Monday after the Los Angeles Lakers practiced for Tuesday's game against the New York Knicks.

"I think it's exciting for the game and the organization because of all the buzz, but personally it's a little embarrassing."

Bryant, who leads the NBA in scoring with a 35.9 average, said the bottom line for the Lakers (23-20) is winning.

"The concept is not about going out there and putting on a show or going out there and scoring points. It's to win games," he said. "Whatever it takes. You have to gauge the flow of the game and then decide when to pick your spot to take over.

"I'd much rather go out and score 25 points and get 10 assists and see everybody in a rhythm, everybody in a groove."

Bryant's 81 points Jan. 22 against the Toronto Raptors marked the second-highest individual scoring performance in NBA history behind only Chamberlain's 100-point night in 1962 for the Philadelphia Warriors against the Knicks.

Bryant said he was not pursuing the points record.

"I don't even think about it," he said of Chamberlain's record. "That's unthinkable. It was done once -- by Wilt, and I'm not Wilt."

Lakers coach Phil Jackson said he had mixed views about Bryant's scoring.

"As a coach, you don't endorse it. You want team play, but you also have to use it because it's part of how you win games. You ride this hot hand. When he is shooting well, I encourage him to take all he needs."

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