Heir'z Corner: 81 vs Quadruple 50
If you eat, sleep, and breathe everything that pertains to the game of basketball, this is a debate that you might enjoy.
Kobe Bryant has set the basketball world on fire more times than Shaquille O'Neal has dunked a doughnut in coffee. Well, almost. His string of nine consecutive games of scoring 40 points or more in 2003 was arguably some of the best ball he's ever played and probably more than at any point in his career, caused people like you and me to compare him to the almighty #23.
Then 3 years later he took his game to a whole new level, one that basketball heads in the modern world was only possible in a video game. Yes, I'm referring to the 81 point sexual assault(no pun intended) he committed on the Toronto Raptors. A performance of that nature had only been witnessed by a small portion on March2, 1962 in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
But what separates Bryant's performance from Chamberlain's is the fact that both played in very different era's. Chamberlain was a 7 foot 1 inch giant competing against players who's average height was no taller than about 6'2. Not to take anything away from a historical performance like that, but go to a playground and play a competitive game against some 2nd graders and see what happens.
The fact that Bryant is a guard makes it a lot more difficult to play that type of game. The rules of the game have changed dramatically since then and so has the caliber of talent in the league. So basically you can consider Bryant's performance the greatest the league has ever seen and something that never will be done again. Ever.
It didn't stop there, though. Kobe shocked us all again late in the 2006-2007 season when he dropped 65 on Portland.
Then 50 in the next game against Minnesota.
Then 60 in Memphis.
Then ANOTHER 50 in the murder capital of the world.
So which was harder to do?
As much as we love to reflect on the 81 point game and it's a lot easier to admire a single performance, scoring 50 points is no easy task. Especially 4 times in a row while your team is in the middle of a horrid losing streak and your reputation as a clean player is in question.
When you break it down game by game, each situation was different.
-The 65 point game was needed for us to win against the Blazers, who at that time were a joke. That's probably the one game where his will completely took over and he lead us to the promised land. In those last 2 minutes he elevated for three's coming off screens and simple catch and shoots. Every one of those shots were needed for us to win and he stepped up when we needed him most like a true warrior. Stat line: 65 points, 23-39 from the field, 11-12 from the field, 8-12 from downtown.
-In the next game against Minnesota he was still playing at a high from the previous performance and competed like he knew he was the baddest. Stat line: 50 points, 4-9 from downtown, 17-35 from the field, 12-14 from the line.
-This is the one we didn't see coming. He was like an axe murderer in a bad mood and Memphis just happened to be next on his hit list. Stat Line: 60 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 20-37 from the field, 17-18 from the line.
-By this time we were all cheering for him to score 50 again. He eased his way into it, though, and delivered most of his knockout blows in the second half. Stat line: 50 points, 7 rebounds, 16-29 from the field, 16-16 from the line.
Scoring over 50 points that late in the season because you're dealing with a lot of other things as your body wears down and your energy is sapped. At the rate players are progressing nowadays, neither one of these things will be repeated by another player.
Let the debate begin.