Doug Collins on Kobe & Meeks

Prior to L.A.’s Sunday evening game in Philadelphia, Sixers coach Doug Collins had some thoughts comparing Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan, as well as reflections on his former starting shooting guard, Jodie Meeks.

Bryant leads the NBA in scoring in his 17th season, which apparently doesn’t surprise Collins, who saw similar will power in Jordan.

“They’re geniuses,” he said. “They’ve seen everything, they don’t waste any energy, they know from night to night who’s guarding them, where they want the ball, how they’re going to get it there, where they want their teammates when they get it. They’re brilliant.

They just don’t go out and play. There’s a sense of purpose to everything they’re doing. That’s why when they have guys like this, you admire how they do their job.”

Fair enough.

As for Meeks, Collins put the two guard into his starting line up in 114 of the 159 games he played in Philly, and could not have been much of a bigger fan.

I love Jodie Meeks. I’ll never forget the day Jodie came into my office our first year together. I don’t think he had dressed the first few games. He said: ‘Coach, what do I have to do get my uniform on?’ I said this is what I need from you. I think (Andre Igoudala) hurt his wrist or Achilles. We went up to NY, put (him) in the game, played well, gave us great energy and shot the ball (well). He’s one of the most professional guys I’ve ever been around my entire life. He’s one of the nicest human beings I’ve ever been around. We miss his professionalism, his speed, we miss everything about him.

Meeks is averaging 15 points per game in his past five for the Lakers, capped by a season-high 24-point effort at Washington in L.A.’s Friday evening win, but has done far more than shooting. His current coach Mike D’Antoni said he really loves how hard Meeks has been competing, sharing that his work ethic and energy on the floor – for a guy known mostly as a shooter – is fantastic.

Meeks will be called upon once again for the short-handed Lakers on Sunday, with only 10 players available. Jordan Hill (back spasms) joins Pau Gasol (knee tendinitis), Steve Nash (non-displaced fracture) and Steve Blake (abdominal surgery) on the shelf.