Hate him now

Nothing I haven't said a thousand times already. But in case you didn't recognize, that's the second most points ever scored in a game. And Wilt's now-#3 was in 3OT. Seriously, I don't know how anyone can fault this Kobe moment; whatever he did, he's earned the right.


At 1/23/2006 1:19 AM, Anonymous aug said...

It certainly was incredible. He had to take those shots too. 55 in the 2nd half when his team was down something like 12-13. Only up by about 6 at the start of the 4th. Odom, brown, george and vuajic were something like 2-20 that game. I'm still speechless. He just drove to the basket and made shots at will. I don't know if anyone else besides possibly kobe again will ever score over 80 ever again. Lebron isn't the 80 point scorer type. He's not a scoring assasin like kobe is and jordan was. The suns-sonics game was a monster too. Buzzer beaters, blocks at the buzzer, and 3s galore. Great stuff. I can't believe the suns had 16 team blocks. It was definitely one of the best nights for the nba i can ever remember, but most people won't get to hear about it much because of the nfl playoffs. Too bad. The nfl and i had a falling out a couple years ago and i just keep up so i can talk to people about it when i need to.

At 1/23/2006 8:58 AM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

i think a healthy t-mac could score 80 if he really felt like it. he seems to be able to score 40 without even really trying. that may be the thing, though--he lack's kobe's killer instinct and drive. i'm reminded of that comment someone left about a discussion of kobe vs. t-mac and billups repeatedly insisting: "kobe's cold, man."

cold indeed.

At 1/23/2006 9:09 AM, Blogger emynd said...

I do think a 6'7" player scoring 81 points in a game in 2006 is more impressive than a hulking, unstoppable goliath scoring 100 in 3OTs way back in the early 60's. You can hate on Kobe all you want--and I have and most surely will continue to do so--but this is truly an incredible feat. To even attempt to take any credit away from it on some "he's selfish" BS is just flat out BS.


I bet he goes for 70 at least once more this season, too.


At 1/23/2006 9:17 AM, Blogger c-los said...

Hell Yeah Aug. The best day in the NBA in a long time. You had Iguadola's buzzer beater. You had the Suns-Sonics game which was just incredible. One insane shot after another. And you had the Mamba striking at will. 3 great games compared to 2 boring NFL games. NBA anyday

At 1/23/2006 9:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i wasnt fortunate enough to see the game, did maybe jalen 'pimpy' rose 'guard' him?
i saw tha the started the game.

At 1/23/2006 9:42 AM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

e.--wilt's 79 (i think it was) was 3OT, the 100 came in regulation. and just as al of kobe's flaws can't detract from last night's performance, i don't think it's actually possibly to critique wilt's 100 game. how else could someone have scored 100 unless they were an unstoppable seven footer in a smaller age? not to get unfortunately technical about it, but who else could make that high a percentage of his shots?

At 1/23/2006 9:54 AM, Blogger emynd said...

how else could someone have scored 100 unless they were an unstoppable seven footer in a smaller age? not to get unfortunately technical about it, but who else could make that high a percentage of his shots?

Agreed. I'm just saying, on a strictly personal level, I'm more impressed by Kobe's feat than I am by Wilt's. It's not a matter of critique.

And, I still think Kobe's gonna go for at least 70 again this season.


At 1/23/2006 9:56 AM, Anonymous aug said...

I don't remember the details of what happened in wilt's game, but i know they scored around 160 and wilt took like 60 shots and shot around the same % as kobe. He also somehow shot almost 90% from the line which is nuts since he's 7 ft. I do know he played all 48 minutes while kobe played 41. Wilt said he was out the night before with a woman playing pinball, practicing his rifle skills at the range, and i assume something else with the woman. Sucks that there was no footage of the game. Would have been fun to see. Apparently, the knicks held the ball for the full 24 second clock and fouled everyone but wilt to try and stop him from getting 100, so they'd throw high lobs to him under the basket from out of bounds. It kind of shows how easy it was for him. Not taking anything away from the man who holds the two most impressive scoring records, but if you can just throw it to you under the basket from out of bounds every time, it's obviously not that hard for him. He didn't really want to score 100 it seems though. He said he kind of wanted to stop at 80, but the fans kept chanting "100" and his teammates kept giving him the ball. After the game he was apparently distraught about taking 63 shots. Hopefully the nba will get some more buzz now. I mean, there is nothing else going on. Only a handful of people care about hockey, and the superbowl is shaping up to be a snoozefest.

At 1/23/2006 10:18 AM, Anonymous T. said...


And then add to that TMac coming back to almost beat the Pistons - with a Luther Head 3 that was just an inch long at the buzzer. (Don't sleep on the Rockets. Yeah, they're 13 & a much bigger # - but with TMac and Yao coming back in a week. .. they could make a run for that 7th spot and make some noise in the playoffs).

I was the one who posted that conversation about Chauncey and his insistance that Kobe was cold. His main arguement (this was towards KG - a 7 footer, and me, a 5'6" point guard who never played beyond high school varsity and the best player I ever guarded was either Jeremy Veal or Jacque Vaughn) was that we didn't have to guard Kobe, so we couldn't know just how laser like his focus was. His focus on what? Ripping your heart from your chest.

At 1/23/2006 11:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lets also not forget the mavs/blazers game. Blake went crazy at the end of the game and overtime...then in OT devin harris jumps a pass, gets a steal and makes a layup with a foul while getting tackled by steve blake for the win and a tie at the top of the western conference for the mavs. It was an insanely good nba day everywhere.

At 1/23/2006 1:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

People still don't root for Goliath. Wilt was an amazing player. Sure, just as the stars aligned for Kobe, they aligned for Wilt, to the point that he actually made free throws. Let's not forget that defenses were very physical back then, and let's certainly not forget that the worst team in the league when Wilt played was at least twice as good as Toronto. (Artest would have held Kobe to, like, 62.) Wilt was a more interesting person than everyone in the league now, too. I think we live in a hype league where the media likes to assert that players (or at least Shaq and Kobe) now are better than anyone before.

My favorite stat from Wilt's 100 point game was that teammate Hal Greer (an all time great midrange shooter) scored 35.

I hope a few decades from now people don't disparage Kobe's performance as "easy". This was pretty amazing, though it didn't compare to the excitement of the Seattle-Phoenix game.

At 1/23/2006 1:44 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

"I don't think I have an instinct like Kobe where I want to kill everybody."

At 1/23/2006 2:04 PM, Anonymous Mr. Six said...

Isn't it a little too soon to say for certain that LBJ will never be a killer and couldn't score as much as Kobe? It seems to me that killer instinct is a magical combination of nature, character, and response to adversity. LBJ has had so little of the last that I'll withhold judgment for a while and allow the kid the freedom to reassess the type of player he is when he knows a little more about it.

And I firmly believe that T-Mac could score like Kobe this year, if he ever wanted to. Ralph Wiley weeps from the grave and punches invisible walls over T-Mac's lack of desire. RIP

At 1/23/2006 4:20 PM, Anonymous aug said...

I agree that wilt's performance was impressive. Defenses were physical indeed. Reports from the game have player draped all over wilt and him still scoring. I put this in the "wilt was so much stronger/taller than everyone else except russell" category though. Like i said, late in the game when the knicks tried to intentionally keep him from scoring more, they would just have him stand under the basket, and lob it to him. Wilt probably could've scored in the 60s/70s a lot more if he wanted to and demanded the ball, but he was a complex, interesting man. Like i said, he even said he was very distraught by the fact that he took 63 shots. A friend told him that "you made 36 of them though, that's great" and he just responded with "ya....but 63 shots...". He was a team guy and wanted to win games and glory. There is a book on his 100 point game and it's impact out there. I haven't read it but heard it's a good read. The man was deep. The problems with russell and a lot of other factors add to his mystique.

At 1/23/2006 7:48 PM, Anonymous ryan b said...

It's really tough to compare this game to Wilt's. Hell, it's always nearly impossible to compare different eras, but if forced to choose I have to say I'm more impressed with Kobe's 81 than with Wilt's 100. It's easy to pass off the Raptors as being a bad team-as if that somehow diminishes the accomplishment-but let's not forget that the Knicks team that Wilt put up 100 on during the 61/62 season finished last in the East that year with a 21-59 record and only managed to win 21 games in both the preceding and the following seasons...so it's not as if Wilt did this against a team that would be comprable to today's Pistons or Spurs.

Also, New York's starting center was out with an injury, so Chamberlain was working against a back up for the entire game. In Wilt's 100 point game the Sixers led 42-26 after the first quarter, so it's not as if he was carrying his team during a close game when nobody else could hit a shot (Greer's 35 has already been mentioned)...he was out to get his, and that's exactly what he did, as did Kobe last night.

The real telling stat is that one of Wilts teammates had 20 assists, the whole Lakers team (minus Kobe's 2) only managed 16, so he was literally doing it all on his own...whether that is a positive or negative thing is up for debate.

Also, the fact that Chamberlain averaged 50/25 that season says more about the quality of competition at that time than anything else. Still though, it's not as if scoring 80 was a regular thing for him...other than the 100 point game he never reached 80.

The fact of the matter is, people generally don't like Kobe. If Jordan would have scored 81 every sports writer and talk show host in the country would have lauded his achievement the next day and the fans would have lined up to suck his dick. People hate on Kobe because he is uncharismatic and unlikeable (especially since the rape trial and dropping a dime on Shaq), but this is quite possible the single most impressive individual feat in the history of the NBA.

At 1/23/2006 8:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I understand the argument that Wilt was physically dominant (and good point about the Knicks sucking), but no one would argue that Allen Iverson just runs past everyone, or that Kobe's natural athleticism allows him to get off a jumper (and so it's less of an accomplishment). I don't understand how you can dismiss height when it would be embarassing to dismiss another athletic gift in an argument. The man (Wilt) maximized his physical gifts. There are plenty of studs who never panned out.
If we are going to handicap due to athletic dominance, why not argue the superiority of Jordan's fifty point game after his 40th birthday? Lest we forget, Jordan, like others, sat down. He could have had 65 in that game easily.

As for the Kobe hate, I agree that that's part of it--for me and for others. I don't know that I'd be particularly excited about an 80 point Jordan game. He was much more interesting when he had the flu or when he scored 40-50 and did something spectacular at the end.

I find the argument that Kobe's performance is the greatest single accomplishment in NBA history convincing. (Well, except maybe Wilt's 55 rebound game.) But I think a number of players could match that performance. They haven't, but it's quite possible. David Thompson is right there with Kobe, and Thompson hardly had the skill set of Kobe or a half dozen other current players. It's phenomenal, but only so much. Let's see if he can get some consistency out of Odom and Brown.

At 1/23/2006 9:04 PM, Blogger aloneconformist said...

i agree with ryan b. in why we hate... no one can question kobe's individual talent and not be full of bitterness and self-loathing... but is his accomplishment good for the game... or even his team? it's almost better that wilt did his in a blowout. all that means is that he went for his when it didn't mean anything... is it good for the lakers to think that every time they have a bad game, the first thing kobe thinks is shoot and don't stop shooting, ever, not say... incite the team to a comeback. maybe he can't, because maybe at this point they don't even like him or respect him as a teammate or a leader--oh, they respect his game, but have you noticed every time lamar odom compliments kobe, he looks like he's forcing down brussel sprouts?

what kobe did is probably the most impressive single player, single game performance ever but despite popular opinion, i actually think it's more difficult for a post player to score big points than a wing because somebody has to actually pass the ball into the post (evidenced by the 20 assists mentioned in ryan b's comment). as a wing, you ain't gotta pass to nobody... but yea, wilt was dominant in his era, his stature compared to the rest of the league was like say... kobe... compared to the raptors.

i'll finish by saying tmac has been in a similar position many times this season, and he has not once taken more than forty shots in one game (and kobe has better individually talented players on his team, players that can create scoring opps for themselves). tmac consistently puts his team in a position to win, and doesn't necessarily have to take the last shot (as seen last night against detroit). so, we know who's the better scorer, but who's the better player? jordan never scored more than 70 points in a game for a reason, he never reached a point, especially after phil jackson arrived in chicago, where he felt he had to.

i also agree with t... go rockets.

ooh, anonymous above makes some good points, beating me to the punch.

At 1/23/2006 9:35 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

81 is beyond basketball good and evil; it's about something far bigger than one season or team. kobe proved last night that he owns the game, the same way that lebron regularly professes his love for it and AI turns it into a metaphor for the human condition.

it's not a question of whether last night made him immortal, or stands as the greatest accomplishment the sport has yet known. what kobe's performance did do was spell out, once and for all, who he is as a player, why he belongs among the all-timers, and how he's like and unlike others in the pantheon. kobe-hating on sunday afternoon meant beating up on an easy target surrounded by question marks; monday morning, those same people were now in the position of trying to front on a clearly-defined legacy.

At 1/24/2006 12:18 AM, Blogger mutoni said...

If you love the game (or simply find joy in life at all), you simply shake your head in bewilderment at this accomplishment. This transcends sport. It's a man shifting the basketball paradigm, he single-handedly redefined what is possible for a player to accomplish between the white lines, I'm obviously of the opinion that this performance dwarfs Wilt's 100 because of their respective eras, sophistication of the defenses (yes, even Toronto's) and the fact that Kobe is a freaking 2-guard and not some 7-foot behemoth terrorizing 6-7 "centers" in the 1960s.

To hate on what he accomplished is a seriously short-sighted thing. Yeah, he takes a lot of shots, yeah he's not the most likeable person in the world, but the man is undisputably the most talented baller in the league (and has been for some time) and he just did the impossible. I feel sorry for those who can't find joy in such a great moment and player.
That's like someone saying Ripken's consecutive games streak was wrong because he played a bunch of games where a replacement player might've performed better. It's a failure to see the bigger picture. This 81 (!!!!!) point performance was definitely worthy of "where were you when it happened?" status. The single greatest individual performance in NBA history took place on Jan.22, 2006 ... And to think I was about to turn off the TV as the Lakers were killing my soul by losing by 18 to the gawd-awful Raptors ...

At 1/24/2006 1:46 AM, Blogger S-Love said...

“Wilt was only dominating because he was bigger than everybody. --Those who say this need to get familiar with two players: Walter Dukes and Swede Halbrook. Dukes was the first 7'0" center and was drafted in 1955. Dukes enjoyed a height advantage over his opponents and was supposed to dominate the league, much like George Mikan had. However, Dukes never averaged more than 14.1 PPG. Halbrook was bigger than Wilt. At 7'3", Halbrook should have overwhelmed Wilt and the rest of the league according to this logic. Instead, Halbrook only played 2 seasons and had career highs of 7.0 PPG and 6.3 RPG. Instead of dominating, he warmed the bench for 6'9" Johnny "Red" Kerr."

"Wilt played in an era when the centers were 6'6.
--The only 6'6" center from Wilt's era was Wes Unseld, who was a dominating rebounder in the 1970s and threw the best outlet passes in history. Unseld retired in 1981.

There were 6'10" centers and occasionally, a 6'8" center (Wayne Embry)"
--both quotes from wiltfan.tripod.com. I don't agree that Wilt's era is better than the current one, as he argues, but his information is valuable.

What is it that people drink that allows them to piss on Wilt's grave continuously?

Is David Thompson's 73 points more impressive because he's shorter than Bryant? Or probably was high on coke?

To put Bryant's amazing accomplishment in perspective, we have to respect the past. The past was not populated with mongoloids. I would never claim that my cousin currently in the Army Reserve could have taken Normandy all by himself, yet sports fans (myself included) tend to think that way a lot.

That said, I'm excited to see what Bryant will do next.

At 1/24/2006 9:26 AM, Blogger emynd said...

I would never claim that my cousin currently in the Army Reserve could have taken Normandy all by himself

I bet you Kobe could.


At 1/24/2006 10:18 AM, Anonymous T. said...

Hey, most of those 100 points were dropped on Darrall Imhoff - the man was not the equivilant of say Erik Dampier. Imhoff was an NCAA Tournament MOP (1959), an Olympian on the greatest non-NBA basketball team of all time (1960), and a legit 6'10".

At 1/24/2006 1:45 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

i don't know why it's taken me two days to post this, but aren't there more than a few similarities between the the public's perceptions of wilt and kobe?

At 1/24/2006 3:01 PM, Blogger Brickowski said...

good call. i don't know enough about wilt or that era to take this any further, but perhaps someone can offer an explanation for why wilt was so reviled that goes beyond the usual "he was goliath" response. because shaq's also a goliath and he's a national treasure.

but, yeah, a guy that felt compelled to lead the league in assists just to prove he could most certainly has something in common with a guy who once spent an entire game passing just to prove a point.

At 1/24/2006 6:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a few more interesting facts to add to the discussion:

-Wilt never had a three-point line from which to attempt shots

-Kobe doesn't have to deal with hand-checking
-The Association now features a three-second violation

At 1/24/2006 7:09 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

this whole thing is kind of a mush. like

"kobe had to create every shot for himself"/"there had to be someone feeding wilt the ball"

(easier for kobe, who could just rely on himself and didn't have to overcome the inferiority of others? easier for wilt, who could benefit from others' good play? harder for kobe, since everyone knew he was going to score when sat up at the top of the key and could have the entire team positioned strategically to cut off all his options? or harder for wilt, who had less room to operate and less chance of fooling defenders?)

i know a lot of that is imperfect, but i'm having a lot of otruble trying to relativize them. i still think that big men are prone to have higher field goal percentages and a less flukish, streak-based unstoppability about them, but when you're talking 81 and 100, i think even that distinction goes out the window. the bottom line is that no one in any era has scored like this, no matter what the differences in the game.

thompson might have a legit case for what he could have done with a three-point line, but there's no way of knowing what his (pscyhological) relationship would've been with the three, in general or that night, what that added option would've done to his rhythm, etc. you play the rules you're dealt.

At 1/24/2006 10:52 PM, Blogger aloneconformist said...

shoals you're a mad genius... and you're right... and when you're right, you're right... you had me at melo's b more spot. dig it.


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