|Kobe Bryant Drops a Bushel of Baskets, Nails 81 Points, and Crowd Chants "MVP."
||[Jan. 23rd, 2006|01:00 am]
So, yesterday, Kobe Bryant went 28 of 46 from the floor and 18 of 20 from the free throw line to assault the Toronto Raptors with 81 points for the win, 122-104, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. Seven of his field goals were 3-pointers.
Kobe's 81 points notched as the 2nd highest total of points scored by a player in any NBA game.
Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points for the Philadelphia Warriors against the New York Knicks at Hershey, Pa., on March 2nd, 1962. He scored 36 of 63 from the floor and made 28 of 32 free throws.
Wilt's scoring records for a game previously occupied the top 4 spots for the highest totals. As of today, Kobe's record total stands rather fresh in the books, so chances are that you won't find many updated lists at the moment.
Michael Jordan, who gained quite a bit of notoriety for himself, never scored more than 69 points in a game. He did it on March 28, 1990, hitting 23 field goals and 21 free throws against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Cleveland. Two of his field goals that night were 3-pointers.
Here's where the debate over Kobe's 81 begins, in relation to Wilt's 100.
Kobe Scores 81 Points on the Toronto Raptors, and He Is . . .
A Giant Ball-Hog. Can't Anyone Else Get a Shot?
One of the Greatest to Play the Game.
Unimpressive. He Did It to the Toronto Raptors.
Impressive. He Can Drop 81. 28/46 from the Floor? Damn.
What's a Basketball?
In the 1961-1962 season, Wilt's Warriors weren't that great of a squad, in comparison to the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers of that year. Wilt's 100 entered the books against the Knicks, who were last in the Eastern Division.
This season, Kobe's 81 happened, like Wilt's 100, against a bottom-feeder team. The Toronto Raptors, after yesterday, sport a 14 win and 27 loss total, putting them right near the bottom of the Atlantic Division.
I suppose I'm not really sure how strong Wilt's team was around him, but I know that the 2005-2006 Lakers, without Kobe, would probably finish as a 50-60 game loser, which would make them about the level of the Toronto Raptors. Kobe's team plays very inconsistent defense, just like the Raptors. Chris Bosh, a talented player in his own right, isn't strong enough at this point to do everything by himself for the Raptors.
As for Wilt, he's a true solid NBA player in any era. Kobe, with performances like last night, plus his nightly dominance for most of his career, makes a steady case for his own possible place in the Hall.