T Nation

Kobe's 81


This kid is on fire.

I think it can be argued that Kobe's 81 could be better than Wilt's 100.

Unlike Wilt, Kobe doesn't tower over every man in the league.

I am impressed.

Now if Mitch Kupchak puts some more talent around Kobe I think "showtime" could return to L.A.


I agree with you that it's more impressive than Wilt's 100. No disrespect to the Big Dipper, but his athleticism was orders of magnitude beyond almost everyone playing at the time (which was incredible considering his size). Kobe, while gifted with tremendous speed and leaping ability, is most certainly not the most "athletic" guy in the NBA.

To break the two down, Kobe was 28-46 from the field, including 7-13 from 3-point range. 18-20 from the line. Talk about a hot hand.
Wilt, while still impressive, took almost 20 more shots than Kobe Bean, going 36-63 from the field, and 28-32 from the charity stripe.

Both Wilt and Kobe each found time to dish out 2 assists a piece during these games.

I would think that this won't be the last comparision we hear between Kobe and Wilt.  Wilt was the most dominate player in history, but still had his foil in Bill Russell, who I believe slighty edged Wilt in the title department 9-2 (please correct me if that's wrong).  Unless Kobe wins a title on his own, he's always going to be in the same boat as Wilt: maybe the greatest scorer ever, but not the greatest player.


This [in my eyes] is way more immpresive than Wilt's 100. Wilt was definately bigger, definately stronger and most of the time faster than EVERYONE he played. He'd catch the ball in the narrower then now lane and shoot a 6-8ft fade.

I'd consider Bryant to be one of the top 5 athletes in the league, but it's his complete control on the offensive end that seperates him from anybody ever except Jordan. There isn't anything he hasn't damn near perfected on the offensive end.

Jordan is still the most dominant of all time, from winning to impact on the floor to the straight up fear he put into the opposition. Bryant has that same ability plus a better handle.
Bill Russel won 11 championships, I don't know how many Wilt got.


"it's all about the win"


I just looked it up: Bill 11, Wilt 2.

I certainly agree with you that Jordan is greatest basketball player of all-time, as no one can compare to his ability to come through in the clutch. He is simply a winner.

But no one changed the landscape of basketball like Chamberlain. He averaged 30.1 pts and 22.9 boards per game for his career. He averaged 45.8 minutes per game during his career, which is unmatched. In the 67-68 season, he lead the league in rebounding and assists. The next season, he had put up the ridiculous stat line of 22 points, 25 rebounds and 21 assists in one game.

Some more stats, courtesy of Wikipedia:
-Wilt's 1961-62 scoring average of 50.4 ppg, accomplished with the Philadelphia Warriors, is by far the NBA record. Chamberlain also holds the next three spots on the NBA's season scoring average list with 44.8, 38.9 and 38.4 points per game. The next closest player is Elgin Baylor, who averaged 38.3 ppg in the same '61-62 season in which Chamberlain set the record.

-Wilt led the NBA in rebounding 11 times, led in shooting percentage seven times, and led in scoring seven times, less eye-catching stats also serve to demonstrate Chamberlain's sheer dominance. After critics called him a one-dimensional (or even selfish) player, Chamberlain defiantly promised to lead the league in assists the next year, which he did in 1968, at a clip of 8.6 per game - numbers good enough to match those of today's point guards.

-Despite the fact that he was regularly double- and triple-teamed on offense and relied upon so heavily on defense, in his 14 years in the NBA he never once fouled out of a game.

-As an arguable, but probable note, many sportswriters attest that Chamberlain would have had many quadruple- if not quintuple-doubles, and average a triple double for his career (points/ rebounds/ blocks). Chamberlain played in an era during which blocks and steals were not officially kept statistics.

Again, I firmly believe that Michael Jordan is the most talented man to ever touch a basketball...but Wilt was able to dominate in a way no player ever will again. Due tp his physical gifts, his play was equivalent to putting Kevin Garnett in a junior high game.


I coudn't be more disappointed in a remarkable performance than this one. I guess it's because I'm a Kobe-hater. Still, 81 points with 55 in the second half? Off the charts, man, off the charts.


Wilt scored 100 before there was a three point line. Now, that only got Kobe 7 extra points, but not having to defend the three meant a team could collapse the entire defense down with nothing to lose.

Plus 19 points over the course of a game is a pretty big difference anyway, but without the three it's Wilt - 100, Kobe - 74. That's a 26 point difference. Twenty six points is a good game in itself.

Anybody who says Wilt Chamberlain isn't the greatest basketball player ever needs to brush up on their basketball history a bit. The changed the rules to make the game more fair to everyone but Chamberlain, for god's sake.


Agreed. Taking nothing away from Kobe, Wilt's 100 points is still the most impressive.


Although if Kobe hadn't sat out the 4th quarter when he had 62 against the Mavs, if he could've put up 80 twice in two weeks (or three maybe, I don't know the exact dates), that could've given Wilt's 100 points a good run for best individual feat.

But Wilt would still be the best ever.


Wilt is not the best basketball player ever. I would argue he doesn't even have the most impressive collection of personal achievements either.Look at his winning percentage, his statistical dropoff during the playoffs, his inability to hit free throws and his overall selfish attitude. I understand he led the league in assists [very impressive] but he did it to pad his stats, not to make his teamates better or try and win the game.I get the impact he had in his day, but he wouldn't get on the floor now.


how does one score 7 points from the 3 point line??


You had me, but really lost me with your last sentence. Do you seriously believe that Wilt f'n Chamberlain wouldn't get on the floor in today's NBA? Every center on every NBA team today is better than Wilt in his day? Right.

Actually, your rationalization of his assist leadership is dumb, too. Who cares what his (allegedly selfish) motives were for passing to his teamates in scoring situations? Scoring points is the ONLY way you're going to win a basketball game.


Moronic! Simply moronic.

The league wasn't watered down back then. He was double and triple teamed all game.

How many centers in the league right now are better--equal too--even close to Wilt.

You may like to suck Kobe off, but to say that Wilt couldn't get on the floor right now shows your bias and inability
to even grasp the obvious.


He made 7/3's
Wilt had no threes
If accounting just for shots made, it equals 7 extra points with less shot attempts.


As great as Wilt's scoring and now Kobe's is being exhaulted--
Pistol Pete would score 50 a game in todays game


Guys, guys,

Let's not get into a pissing match about who's better. Both performances (Wilt's 100 point game and Kobe's 80 point game) are BOTH very impressive. Kobe scored over 66% of his team's points. He also NEEDED to score almost all of the 81 points for his team to win; that's what is unbelievable about it.

The Lakers were down by 17 points early in the third quarter when Kobe went off to get his team back in the lead by the end of the third quarter. He scored 55 points in the second half alone. A very small percentage of NBA players will score that in a game in their career.

Also, for the people saying that Kobe's 81 points doesn't compare to Wilt's 100 points are idiots. Wilt played all 48 minutes of that game. Kobe only play 42 minutes. He scored 55 in a half. If anyone thinks he's not capable of scoring 100 in the future are smoking crack.

Just an unbelievable performance!


I got to see Maravich and Gervin play a game of horse once on "Vintage NBA", that was incredible.


Wilt benefited from narrower lanes, no ball handling responsibilities and an offense that consisted of dumping him the ball. He stood a good 6" over his counterpart and was stronger and faster most of the time. That wouldn't be the case today. He wouldn't even be one of the 20 most athletic CENTERS, his 8ft fade would be pushed to 14-16 feet and he wouldn't know how to play without his physical advantages which would be extinct nowadays. He'd be just another player.

NBA tv just showed the game, and as hard is it is to believe Bryant got his 81 within the flow of the game. He didn't start forcing things until the last 6 min, and he single handedly brought them back from an 18-point defecit.

I love watching clips of Pistol Pete, but he would be Steve Nash + 2 inches not an elite scorer.

Face it, the game has passed the players of yesteryear by. Todays player is bigger, stronger and faster with the benefit of the games evolution on their side. There have been so many advances in the understanding of the game [not unlike weight training]in the last few decades that it'd be foolish to think that it'd be a fair match.

You don't bring a knife to a gunfight.


Sorry about bringing up so much on Wilt; it drives the thread away from discussing the history that we are witnessing.

Kobe's next game is on Friday night against Golden State at the Staples Center. How many points do you guys think Kobe Bean Bryant will put up? I'm expecting no less than 40.


Pro Basketball, its all about the win? Yeah, its more like its all about the "me"...the game has to be played that way I guess, I'm not a Pro B-Ball fan, this kind fo stuff and the players' thug mentality that the kids immulate...I think Kobie is a ball hog...its all about him, that's why Shack split that LA scene...Kobie...two assists...wow...Pro B-Ball sucks in my opinion.



Did you say that Wilt's athletic ability wouldn't match up with todays Centers, or the top 20 of Centers now?

You need to read Wilt's book, "A View From Above". It was a contraversial book because The Stilt boasted about so many things but you'll never hear anyone who was around Wilt deny some of the feats that he described in his book. He claimed to run a 4.4 40, have a vertical near 50" super human strength. According to the book, when Wilt was working with Arnold on Conan the Barb., Wilt was bench pressing 500lbs for reps, then it was Arn's turn, Wilt said that Arnold wouldn't dare attemp that lift as well as other lifts that Wilt was repping. I haven't read the book in years so I may be off...by a little.

Wilt was E-L-I-T-E!

Now back to Kobe "THE MAN" Bryant