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Kobe Defies Imagination

By Daniel Strickland on January 24, 2006.

You’re sitting and watching, and it’s like a miracle unfolding in front of your eyes and you can’t accept it. Somehow, the brain won’t work. The easiest way to look at it is everybody remembers every 50-point game they ever saw. He had 55 in the second half.
Lakers owner Jerry Buss

Don’t get me wrong. We here at SpursDynasty hate Kobe Bryant. That being said, Kobe did something truly unimaginable last night. He scored 81 points. Un-f**king-believable. Ok, so he scored 62, his previous career high, against the Mavericks just last month in only three quarters, so we knew he had it in him. And he’s been on a tear of late, averaging 43.4 points per game since Dec 20.

But 81 points?!

Imagine for just a second that Kobe isn’t a Los Angeles Laker, that the Lakers weren’t playing the Craptors, that Kobe isn’t a rapist.

Imagine that Michael Jordan is still playing and still in his prime. Michael Jordan’s career high was 69 points. “Only four players had ever scored more than 70 — Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor, David Thompson and David Robinson. The 27-year-old Bryant made it five.”

Imagine if Tim Duncan or Tony Parker or Manu Ginobili had scored 81 points last night. It’s unimaginable, isn’t it?

To put Kobe’s 81 into perspective, Tim Duncan had a career high of 53 points against the Mavericks on Dec 26, 2001. Manu Ginobili’s career high of 48 points came against the Suns on Jan 21, 2005. Tony Parker had his career high of 38 points last Friday, Jan 20, 2006 against the Heat. You know, that was the game that FunkTiger slept through most of and didn’t record properly with his TiVo.

Former San Antonio Spur Steve Kerr put it like this:

His point totals have been so ridiculous that his 37-point effort in Phoenix on Friday was barely noticed. For almost anyone else, 37 would be a career night. For Kobe? It’s a subpar game.

The question now is how high the bar should be raised. Is 90 points a possibility? Think about how preposterous that sounds, yet Kobe has actually made it a valid question. What if the Lakers play the Suns — who scored 149 points Sunday night and still lost — and Bryant gets hot? Then what? Could he score 100?

The man is virtually unguardable. His shooting range goes way beyond the three-point line, and his ball-handling ability allows him to get to any spot on the floor. His strength and fearlessness puts him at the free-throw line time and again, and his steely nature at the end of games makes him lethal in the clutch. He is a basketball machine.

We may never in our lifetime see another NBA player score as many points in one game, or in one half (55), as Kobe scored last night. Then again, we may see Kobe score even more. One can only imagine.

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