Blog Entry

Better scoring night: Kobe's 81 or Wilt's 100?

Posted on: March 2, 2012 9:10 am
Edited on: March 2, 2012 11:54 am
Posted by Royce Young

In what world has 81 ever been better than 100? Maybe when you're talking about temperature, but not much after that.

But here's a time that 81 was greater than 100: Kobe Bryant's epic scoring night matched against Wilt Chamberlain's all-time point barrage.

Never would I imply that what Chamberlain did 50 years ago wasn't impressive. Scoring 100 points in a game isn't just impressive. It's drinking-a-gallon-of-milk impressive. It's something that's darn near impossible to do and takes a special, near superhuman individual to pull it off.

Still, Kobe's 81 was better.

Why? You could almost make a strong case that Chamberlain's hundred should include an asterisk. First, and this is unfair to Chamberlain, but none of us saw it happen. We don't know what it looked like, what it felt like, how that game went. There's no footage of it at all, only a little audio of him scoring the hundredth point.

Actually, it might be a good thing we never saw it. Because from accounts of how it went down, the Warriors spent almost the entire fourth quarter fouling to get the ball back and force-feeding Chamberlain the ball. New York coach Eddie Donovan said, "The game was a farce. They would foul us and we would foul them." Chamberlain's shot attempts by quarter: 14, 12, 16, 21. You think in a blowout in today's game that a team would keeping feeding their star like that?

Plus, the pace of the game in 1962 was far faster than was Kobe was playing with in 2006. Chamberlain had more possessions in the up-and-down game. There were 316 combined points in that game. It would take today's Lakers almost a month to score that many. (I kid, I kid.)

Then you have to consider that Chamberlain's points came easier. He was a post player that could be fed the ball and overwhelm his opponents. Kobe is a perimeter player that had to handle it and score by creating his own either off the dribble or with a jumper. Chamberlain overpowered smaller teams and smaller players. At times, it was like a college guy playing against middle school kids. Truly a man among boys. Chamberlain could just have his way.

It's no coincidence that when you browse the top point totals in a game, Wilt's name litters the list. It was a long time coming that he'd finally top the century mark. He scored at will because there was only one other player in the game -- Bill Russell -- that could really stop him. The guy that played most of the night against him -- Darrall Imhoff -- stood no chance. Not to discredit the talent pool in the 60s, but Chamberlain wasn't exactly facing elite big men every night.

Nobody will ever match what Chamberlain did though. Like DiMaggio's hit streak or Favre's consecutive games streak, it's one of those unbreakable records. The reason mainly is because nobody would have the gall to do what the Warriors did to get him there. Playing out the game in a blowout, blatantly running up the score, fouling to get the ball back -- can you imagine what would happen if someone did that today?

Say LeBron was going off and had 75 points after three quarters. The Heat are up 30. Erik Spoelstra leaves LeBron out there to pound the opponent, all while Dwyane Wade and Shane Battier take fouls so LeBron gets more shots. There would be week long panels devoted to ripping the team that did it. I think the Hall of Fame might have to make room for a new exhibit honoring the most explosive media backlash in professional sport history.

Kobe's 81 had everything going for it. It was a close game and Bryant just completely took over. The Lakers were down 71-53 and Kobe brought them back. He wasn't ever intentionally fouled, and he team didn't do much of anything other than give him the ball and get out of the wya. He played until the end, checking out with just a few seconds remaining. And despite playing a darn near perfect game with all the factors lining up, Kobe was still 19 points short. Consider this: After Kobe, the next highest total is 78 by Chamberlain, then 73 by David Thompson and Chamberlain. Even the greatest ever, Michael Jordan, topped out at 69. There's just no chance of anyone ever sniffing 100 points in a game again.

Still, Kobe's 81 was better.

The Mamba took 17 fewer shots, 12 fewer free throws, didn't have his team fouling to get him the ball, had fewer possessions and still only came up 19 short of Wilt. He scored 55 points after halftime. That's only 14 short of Jordan's career-high. Forget what math and maybe common sense tells you. Eight-one is greater than 100.

Since: Sep 22, 2006
Posted on: March 2, 2012 2:50 pm

Better scoring night: Kobe's 81 or Wilt's 100?

100 is more than 81.  Kobe had threes, Wilt had "no defense."  Fine.  100 is still more than 81, and I'd bet half the people on this board couldn't hit 50 shots in the time it took to play a game of basketball if they were unguarded on the floor every trip.  Kobe's was an astonishing feat, no doubt, but Wilt's still tops it, and it's not as if it was a fluke.  The man scored 50 or more almost 100 times, and he AVERAGED 50 for an entire season once.  Are you going to tell me next that some modern-day player's 28.9 ppg is better because the NBA Wilt played in was a joke?  The man was head-and-shoulders above everyone else, and you cannot take away from him because of it; I don't hear anyone saying Babe Ruth's 60 is worse than Home Run Baker's 20 because of the dead-ball issue and weak pitching, after all.

Since: May 15, 2007
Posted on: March 2, 2012 2:45 pm

Better scoring night: Kobe's 81 or Wilt's 100?

Running up the score is fouling the other team so that you can get more possessions.  Playing defense and then letting your best shooter put it up on the other end is called smart basketball.  The difference is what each team did on the defensive end.

Since: May 29, 2008
Posted on: March 2, 2012 2:44 pm

Better scoring night: Kobe's 81 or Wilt's 100?

Hey Vick's A Coward--

Are you implying that Kobe "carried Shaq" to those three titles???  REALLY I didnt realize that Kobe won those first three Finals MVPs and not Shaq...

Oh wait a're an Eagles fan, having a conversation based in logic would be pointless 

Since: Oct 26, 2006
Posted on: March 2, 2012 2:41 pm

Better scoring night: Kobe's 81 or Wilt's 100?

Game was faster?  First off there was no 24 second clock during Wilt's game.  The game was actually slower and Wilt didn't bring up the ball so he couldn't control if he got the ball (of course they would feed him the ball) but still he wasn't incharge of the offense...and how many Threes did Wilt make?  Oh yeah, there wasn't a three point shot yet. 

You can't compare...100 points is a 100 points.  Never has happened since despite the addtion of the three point shot and 24 second shot clock.

Since: May 29, 2008
Posted on: March 2, 2012 2:41 pm

Better scoring night: Kobe's 81 or Wilt's 100?

WOW!  I didnt realize that Kobe ONLY took impossible shots that night.  No dunks and no layups at all...thats so impressive.  In fact I think he hit 27 half court shots with 4 defienders on him...oh yeah and he was blindfolded, with one arm tied behind his back.  Thats so damn impressive that he hit all those impossible shots.

And Wilt ONLY dunked the ball against the clowns from Barnum and Bailey with the dwarf brigade coming off the bench.

And its so impressive how so many of you actually saw Wilts game that night.  Where can I find this footage so I can see that the Knick imported the 5 foot and below CYO team to play that night!

Since: Apr 28, 2010
Posted on: March 2, 2012 2:40 pm

Better scoring night: Kobe's 81 or Wilt's 100?

Well 100 is better than 81.  As far as impressive....both were magnificent feats.  The Kobe Haters are worse than Lebron Haters......totally irrational and ignorant.  The facts are if Kobe shot the same number of attempts as Wilt then Kobe would of ended up with 114.  I know, I know, Kobe Bryant is a selfish, ballhog, who is overrated, raped a girl, and won titles because of other people.  Or maybe, just maybe, the Lakers weren't gonna pay Shaq the $28 million he wanted and Jerry Buss got rid of him, he without doubt go down as a top 10 player of all time, shot less shots per game than the best of all time, got the one that lies twice to the FBI while bragging about it to her best friend while having 3 different guys in her in the previous 48 hours, and he carried other people to titles. I'm no Laker fan but I'll go with the facts and take the latter.

Since: May 29, 2008
Posted on: March 2, 2012 2:37 pm

Better scoring night: Kobe's 81 or Wilt's 100?

Hey "The Truth"

Clearly you dont live up to your moniker.  What anyone who disagrees with you is eating cheetos and never played basketball?  Thats your criteria??!

Shaq was WORSE than Wilt Clearly--no arguement.  Couldnt even score 50 let alone 150.

Kobe played "Legit defensive competition"?  Uhh...REALLY?? Mike James, Jose Calderon and Mo Pete...yeah those are all pro defenders there. Toront finished 30 games below 500 that year and was out of it by New Years Day!!

"Wilt's defender was 6'6""-- uh... Imhoff was 6'11" and Buckner was 6'10" 

And since it sound like you saw Wilt's game how many "2 foot layups" did Wilt have that night.  Clearly a Center would not take nearly as many jump shots as a guard...but I guarantee you some of those shot were more than just layups or dunks.

Hate to let some facts get in the way of a good opinion.  But what do I know...I guess I'll just go back and eat some more cheetos now. 

Since: Oct 31, 2006
Posted on: March 2, 2012 2:36 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Nov 27, 2006
Posted on: March 2, 2012 2:24 pm

Better scoring night: Kobe's 81 or Wilt's 100?

Despite the difference in eras, players, etc. I'll just say this. They were both amazing performances and unrivaled in their respective times. I don't really care whose particular game is greater because I value them both equally.

Since: Oct 1, 2009
Posted on: March 2, 2012 2:15 pm

Better scoring night: Kobe's 81 or Wilt's 100?

For anyone saying Wilt's game is better has NEVER played basketball or clearly has no understanding of the game, they are just keyboard warriors eating Cheetos at home talking crap

The point of the article is the obvious retard will say 100 is a higher # than 81, end of discussion.,

What the article clearly indicates is it is HOW the points were scored.  Wilt was 7+ feet and his defender was like 6'6 so he is just catching the ball and laying it up or dunking it.  Give Shaq in his prime an advantage like that and he scores 150

Kobe put up 81 with less shot and free throw attempts and against legit defensive competition, he isn't shooting 2 foot layups

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