The usually hard to impress New York Post’s Peter Vescey puts Kobe Bryant’s 62 point explosion against Dallas Wednesday night into some historical perspective.
Nobody I know who’s been around the pro or college game since the Twelfth of Never can remember a player ever outscoring a team by the end of the third quarter as Kobe Bryant did last Tuesday against the Mavericks.
Not even Wilt, the night he tattooed the Knicks for 100 points, or in any game during the ’61-’62 season when he averaged 50.4 for Philadelphia.
Not Elgin Baylor, when he notched 71 against the Knicks (of course), a Lakers franchise record that got a stay of execution when professionalism reigned supreme for the final quarter against the Mavericks.
Not Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the NBA’s all-time leading scorer or league runner-up Karl Malone; not Michael Jordan, who captured a ludicrous 10 scoring titles, three more than Wilt and six more than George Gervin and Allen Iverson.
Not David Thompson, owner of the second-highest scoring total (73 on the final day of the ’77-’78 season) in league history, for all the good it did him. Gervin beat him out for the title later that evening when he flushed 63.
Not George Mikan. Not Moses Malone. Not Frank Selvy. Not Bevo Francis. Not Bob McAdoo. And not Julius Erving, despite having a boulevard of green lights courtesy of coach Kevin Loughery. I once watched Dr. J. (along with roughly 2,500 others) barbecue the San Diego Conquistadors for 63 points. Only it took him a little more than three quarters to accomplish his feat; the Nets eked out a 175-165 decision in four extra sessions.
Not even Pete Maravich, during his three-year scourge of college when he averaged 44.2 points for LSU , outscored an opponent at the end of three quarters. Though Walt Frazier might’ve thought he did one bleak New Orleans evening in ’77, when I gaped in wonder as Pistol Pete perforated the Knicks’ pin-up defensive guard for 68.
In other words, not a single one of basketball’s all-time official scorers ” high school and below don’t count ” achieved what Kobe did. Consequently, unless someone can produce proof to the contrary, Kobe is hereby recognized as the first earthling to voyage to that unimaginable frontier of enchantment.