Last night the best player in the game had maybe the best scoring game of his career. Lebron James dropped a smooth 61 points against the Charlotte Bobcats.
He came out hot scoring 24 points in the first half, with Michael Jordan watching down on his Bobcats get skinned in more ways than he could count. It appeared that Jordan got sick of counting and visited Lebron at half in the locker room, Jordan enters while Lebron takes a breather near his locker. Jordan starts out jesting Lebron about his mask, then he offers him some secret stuff a la Space Jam and a video tape.
Jordan says “Drink this, drop 60 something points, then watch this video.” Now Back to reality. Lebron came out in the third firing and the secret stuff was working, he copped 25 points in the third quarter alone, 37 in the second half to exit the game to cheers of 61 and MVP with just under two minutes on the clock.
He broke the Miami Heat single game record of 57 points, held by Glen Rice. Now the Heat have had some high scorers don the jersey with lifer D-Wade, Eddie Jones had a short stint, an over the hill Shaq, and the aforementioned Rice. So, holding the Heat record is admirable, but let us compare this game to some of the all time bests.
Using 3 fields of criteria; competition level, stage, and total points, let’s take a look at some of the best scoring performances.
Wilt hit the triple digits with the only 100 point game in NBA history and probably the only 100 point game to ever happen again above AAU level competition; 100 is 100 so it is a top contender to take the cake even amidst any argument of the Wilt was a man among boys in a much lacking NBA defensive talent pool in 1962.
Next in line is Kobe’s 81 point explosion against the Raptors in ’06, now the same argument could hold as the Raptors were awful, as their defense finished to next to last in the league in scoring allowed that year. Both of these games came on just a regular season game, almost an any given night kind of game. Here is where MJ steps in to take his crown in what some consider the best basketball performance of all time.
In 1986 Jordan entered a playoff game in Boston, against one of the greatest front lines assembled of Bird, McHale, and Parish, with Walton coming off the bench. He was playing in The Garden which at this point in NBA history might as well be the royal courts. Jordan was not even supposed to play as he had missed most of the season with a broken foot. The Bulls were a huge underdog and the rag tag teammates Jordan was playing with probably couldn’t even make the Celtics practice squad. But he was MJ and was going to let the world know. He scored 63.
The video tape Jordan hypothetically gave Lebron at half-time would of been of this game. So taking all aspects in to account Wilt is up there for the fact that he put up triple digits, Kobe although 81 is second best did it against a lowly Raptors team similar to the Bobcats that Lebron shred up; so they are both out of it. Leaving Wilt and MJ to fight for best ever.
With Jordan playing at almost the highest level, against a truly all time great team, I give the honor to MJ. Plus, if Lebron was putting in the extra effort to show up some old all time great who wasn’t even on the court it was not Wilt, it was MJ. But until Lebron learns that the secret stuff is just water and he does not have to chase anyone to be the best, he will do exactly that and keep on chasing number 1 rather than becoming number 1. Do us all and yourself a favor, take off the mask, be your self and play for your self. Until then no one will see your true greatness.
By Shaun Finn