Still talking Kobe

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:59 AM ET

DENVER -- Kobe Bryant was in Rob Babcock's dreams on a rare night with the family in Minnesota.

And was it a nightmare.

"I couldn't sleep," the Raptors general manager said last night as he re-connected with his team in Denver prior to a game against the Nuggets. "It was just an amazing thing. I must have woken up 20 times going, 'That guy just got 81.' "

The day after the Los Angeles Lakers star's remarkable 81-point performance wasn't fun for Babcock or his players, but the mood around the team wasn't overly sombre or dreary. Even Babcock couldn't help but smile in amazement when talking about Bryant's feat. Yes, the Raptors were the butt of jokes -- NBA.com promoted the Nuggets-Raptors game by asking if Carmelo Anthony could top Kobe and a CBS sportsline columnist referred to the Raptors as seemingly fictional -- but the team attempted to get Kobe out of its system early in the day.

Coach Sam Mitchell said the players wanted to see the video of the game and he obliged. But after that, he didn't care to do much reflecting on the night that was.

"We talked about it earlier in the day and we put it behind us," Mitchell said. "It does us no good to speak about (Sunday night). It speaks for itself."

Others followed Mitchell's lead, with point guard Mike James politely declining a request to reminisce about Bryant's big game. But, as usual, Jalen Rose was in a talkative mood and, like Babcock, he didn't sleep much. He watched the highlights over and over again.

"I watched everything," Rose said. "I watched it on Good Morning America, I was up all night. When you're contesting those jumpers, it's tough to watch. But you have to, you've got to deal with it."

Rose admits he was angry during the game.

"The last two or three minutes, should you go clothes-line the guy?" Rose said. "Did I think about it? Yeah, I thought about it. That would be just as much being a bad sport and a hater. You have to suck it up and take it like a man."

Raptors star Chris Bosh also was a bitter man as his eyes bulged out in post-game interviews, with his words reflecting his mood.

While Babcock doesn't like being part of this kind of history, he thinks the Raptors will be a footnote as time goes on.

"It's somewhat embarrassing to be associated on the losing side of something like that," he said. "But I don't think most people will be focused on who he scored against. I can't remember who Wilt (Chamberlain) scored 100 points on."

But for awhile, the Raptors are going to hear about it.

"I was getting as many calls about his effort as I was getting about anything all year," said Rose, who eventually turned off his phone. "We have to get another game under our belt and then I could check in with the rest of the world (today) unless Carmelo or somebody is about to give us 60 or 70."


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