Monday, January 23, 2006


Kobe scores 81. KOBE SCORES 81. Kobe. Scores. 81.

Really, that's all the talk in the sports world today. And you know what, it should be.

What he did was amazing. It is the second most points scored in a basketball game by a single player. Ever. He hit a variety of shots, and he shot 60%.

But everyone is comparing it to Wilt Chamberlain's 100. And of course they will, because that's the benchmark here. They already compare Kobe to Michael Jordan (who never even came close to 80 in a game) so now they have to go to the next level. Let me say this: both comparisons are stupid. I think I have already went through the facts about Kobe V MJ. So now I will go over 81 V 100.

Easily, let's just point out that it is 19 less. That's almost ten more made shots. Which means about, for Kobe and his average, 22 more shot attempts. It's a little fuzzy math, but that gives him almost 70 attempts for a game. If a defense gives you 70 shots and you DON'T break the record, they should not only take away your player card, they should stop calling you an athlete. Chamberlain made his on 60 shots, and he made 38 of those. He also added 28 of 32 free throws, as the other team tried to send it's THREE best defenders after him, and all they could do is foul.

But the big deal is Chamberlain was playing inside the team game. His point guard had 20 assists that night. Chamberlain also had 25 boards. He was playing the game they set up for the TEAM. And they won that way. Kobe had to take over a losing effort to bring the game to a win, and he did it without involving his teammates. At all. Lamar Odom had 8 points.

And let me blow up some misconceptions about today's game verses the past, really quickly. They didn't have a three point line (Kobe canned 7 threes), they didn't have a half court violation (Today you can only keep the ball for 8 seconds before advancing it), and there was no defensive three seconds call (meaning they could camp out where Wilt liked to play, and make it physically impossible for him to get his shot). They also used to call something called traveling, wherein a player can only take two steps towards the basket before releasing the ball (Kobe's drive easily takes three to develop).

I am NOT saying this wasn't impressive. In fact, it was the single greatest basketball display by an INDIVIDUAL I have ever personally witnessed (I was, of course, not alive for Wilt's 100) But it falls just short of Wilt's game, and it deserves to be right where it is in the record books: number 2.

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