Tag: Kobe 81


What was more impressive: Chamberlain’s 100 point game or Kobe’s 81?


Here is the statistic that most amazes me about Wilt Chamberlain’s 1962 season — he AVERAGED 50.4 points and 25.7 rebounds a game. Averaged. No player in the history of the league has been as physically superior to everyone around him as early Wilt.

Notice I did not say his legendary 100-point game, which happened exactly 50 years ago tonight. What Chamberlain did on March 2, 1962 in Hershey, Pennsylvania, is certainly and deservedly celebrated. It is an amazing accomplishment that I don’t think will ever be matched (not everyone agrees with that).

I also would also say Kobe Bryant’s 81-point game against the Raptors was more impressive.

I do not wish to disparage Chamberlain, who had scored 73 points in a game a few months before and was having a season for the ages. No doubt when the Warriors faced the Knicks in Hershey he was having a special kind of night, dominating the game in a 169-147 Warriors win.

Chamberlain handled the ball 125 times in that game, had 63 shots, 32 free throws, 25 rebounds, and played all 48 minutes. He overwhelmed the Knicks defenders. Remember that back then the pace of the game was much faster, so he got more attempts in that game than an NBA player would today. But don’t hold that against Wilt — this was about effort and a workman like effort. He stole inbound passes, played defense and showed this was no fluke.

But the fourth quarter was. The Warriors would foul the Knicks intentionally to stop the clock and get the ball back so they could feed Chamberlain. The Knicks fouled him back to create a free throw battle. The game was in the Warriors hands and Chamberlain asked out but his coach wanted the 100 and left him in. The Knicks coach after the game called it a farce.

Kobe’s points came in the flow of the game — the Lakers were on a two-game losing streak and were down 14 at the half to the lowly Toronto Raptors. The Lakers needed Kobe to step up and carry them, they needed him to take over and he did.

Also, Kobe had to create his own shots — Chamberlain got fed the ball in the post, a luxury Kobe did not have.

Chamberlain is a player to be celebrated and his 1962 season may be the best single season a player has ever had. His 100-point game is an amazing performance that will never be matched.

But Kobe’s game was better.

Watch Kobe score 81 — the NBA 2K11 version


It was a nondescript Monday in January that turned into a night that helped define legend of Kobe Bryant. The Lakers were struggling against the woeful Toronto Raptors and Kobe decided to put the team on his back, got on a role like no other, and dropped 81 points in one game.

We want you to relive it with the video below — the NBA 2K11 way.

The video game version has some quirks, pointed out by our man Andy Kamenetzky at ESPN’s Land O’ Lakers blog (and over at Lakers Nation). For one, look closely and you’ll see Pau Gasol on the bench, even though he wouldn’t join the Lakers for a couple years. Also, Smush Parker’s number is wrong (he’s 13 in the video game, No. 1 in real life — and our hearts).

It may not be perfect, but it’s better than another story about the league suing the union.

Video: On fifth anniversary, watch Kobe drop 81 again

Miami Heat v Los Angeles Lakers

Five years ago Saturday, Kobe Bryant took over a game like nobody ever quite had before. Sure, Wilt got triple digits one time, but that had an element of sham to it (his teammates were fouling to stop the clock and get the ball back so they could feed him and get him over the mark).

Kobe Bryant didn’t drop 81 on the Toronto Raptors because he could, he did it because he needed to. Well, a little of both, really. But he did it in the flow of the game. The Lakers trailed early to the Raptors and L.A. was playing in one of its lazy funks that it still suffers from at times. And, as he does now, Kobe decided to put the team on his back and carry them to a win.

Except he was red hot like he never had been before. Against a shaky Raptors defense. The result was 81.

Watch every point again. Unless you’re a Raptors fan, then you might want to go grab a beer and try to forget.