Why Kobe's 81 Points Can't Even Compare to Wilt Chamberlain's 100-Point Game
Kobe Bryant's 81 points scored against the Toronto Raptors in 2006 cannot even compare to Wilt Chamberlain's 100 points scored for the Philadelphia Warriors in 1962—the greatest individual performance in NBA history.
Chamberlain's legendary performance proved why he's the most dominant player to ever play professional basketball.
Bryant's 81 points was the second-highest total in league history, but there are many reasons it isn't on the level of Chamberlain's accomplishment.
Let's break down why that is.
In Bryant's 81-point performance, he hit seven three-point field goals, which accumulated for about a quarter of his total scoring against the Raptors.
Which performance was better?
The NBA did not adopt the three-point line until the 1979-80 season, which means it was not part of the game during Chamberlain's entire career.
Kobe was able to score more points faster than Chamberlain because he's such a good outside shooter and had an opportunity to score more points per shot than Chamberlain did.
The fact that Chamberlain scored 100 points without hitting a single three-pointer is so amazing that it becomes literally unbelievable.
Chamberlain did much more than score
Wilt Chamberlain didn't just score 100 points against the New York Knicks on March 2, 1962, he also grabbed 25 rebounds.
Chamberlain not only dominated the NBA in scoring during his career, he also was one of the best rebounders the league has ever seen.
He also blocked a ton of shots (although that stat was not recorded during his career) and even led the league in assists one season as a center.
Kobe had just six rebounds and two assists in his memorable 81-point performance and did not have to worry about anything but putting up a lot of points.
Chamberlain's quality of teammates was far better than Bryant's
When Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points in 1962, he did so while playing with very talented teammates who were also fully capable of scoring a ton of points. It's so impressive that Chamberlain was able to score 100 points when he was alongside some of the best players ever.
Chamberlain played with Paul Arizin, Al Attles and Guy Rodgers on the 1962 Warriors team, all of which were phenomenal players.
During the 2005-06 season, Bryant played with arguably the worst supporting cast of his career. There was no Shaquille O'Neal, no Eddie Jones, no Derek Fisher, no Pau Gasol and no Andrew Bynum.
The Lakers starters for the game Bryant scored 81 points included Smush Parker, Chris Mihm, Kwame Brown and Lamar Odom. That's a terrible starting lineup, and it's not hard to imagine why Bryant was forced to carry most of the scoring load for that year's Lakers squad.
Bryant averaged 35.6 points per game during the 2005-06 season, by far the highest of his career.
Both performances were incredible in several ways, and there's certainly no chance anyone will score 100 or more points ever again in an NBA game.
Chamberlain is the most dominant player in basketball history, he scored a ton of points, he rebounded better than anyone and he even found himself high on the assists leaderboard a few times.
His 100-point performance is by far the greatest individual performance in NBA history. Even though Bryant's 81 points was a spectacular accomplishment, it can't even compare with Chamberlain's historical performance in 1962.
Main photo found here.
Nicholas Goss is an NBA Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report, follow him on Twitter.
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