10 Performances Easily Better Than LeBron James’ 61-Point Game
10 Performances Easily Better Than LeBron's 61
If you're a younger sports fan and you happened to watch SportsCenter the night of, or the day after LeBron James' 61-point game, you might think it was the greatest performance in NBA history.
Stop everything, LeBron just dropped 61 on the Bobcats!
While James' performance was no doubt awesome, was it really that awesome in the scheme of things? To me, the answer is a resounding hail no. In this slideshow we'll take a look at 10 single-game performances that were easily better than LBJ's 61.
Now don't get me wrong, James hitting the 60-point mark for the first time in his career is a big deal. It's just not as big of a deal as ESPN is making it out to be -- but that's how they roll. They'll jump at any chance to start a LeBron-GOAT conversation. I don't know why ESPN doesn't spend more time taking about the historical relevance of his 61 points? Oh yeah I do, it's because his performance isn't really relevant in the scheme of things. To some, it's a big deal. That's an amount of points he's never scored before. But for many of us, it's a matter of 'why hasn't he dropped 60 on a team like the Bobcats before?'
Need proof that 60 points in one game isn't that big of deal? This factoid says it all: Wilt Chamberlain scored 60 points or more 32 times during his career. 32 times! For a more modern day comparison, look no further than Kobe Bryant, who has notched 60 on five occasions.
I think I speak for many when I say: ESPN, take a lap.
So without further ado, here are 10 NBA performances that are easily better than LeBron's 61:
10. Carmelo Anthony Scores 62 on Same Bobcats Team
Melo did James one better, literally. He dropped 62 on the Bobcats earlier in the 2013-14 season.
9. MJ Drops 55 in MSG, 5 Games Into Comeback
Sure, 55 is less than 61. But when you consider the context of Jordan's double-nickel game in the Garden, there's no question that it was a more impressive performance.
8. Rick Barry Scores 64 Against Portland in '74
Barry notched 64 while shooting free throws granny-style. Bron dropped 61 while wearing a mask. We all know which is more impressive.
7. Pistol Pete Hangs 68 on the Knicks
Pete Maravich scored points in bunches. He went especially crazy one night against the Knicks back in 1977.
6. Jordan Drops 63 in the Boston Garden During 1986 Playoffs
A young, inexperienced MJ went nuts on the Celtics back in the '86 playoffs. That's right, the same Celtics team that went on to win the title that year. Sure, the Bulls lost the game, but it doesn't take away from Jordan's legendary performance.
5. Jordan's Career-High 69
This is as close as MJ got to 70 points in a game. He torched the Cavs (not a shocker) for 69 back in March of 1990.
4. David Thompson Scores 73, 4th Most All-Time
Thompson doesn't get a ton of credit for being great, but there's a reason he's nicknamed Skywalker and a member of the NBA Hall of Fame. His career night came back in 1978 when he went crazy on the Pistons.
3. David Robinson Goes Off For 71 To Lock Up Scoring Title
Robinson's 71-point game was one of the greatest performance I've ever witnessed. The big man was all over the court draining shots on the Clippers in the season finale, which secured him the NBA scoring title in 1994.
2. Kobe Bryant's 81
Kobe currently sits in the No. 2 spot on the all time single-game scoring list. He was absolutely unconscious the night he dropped 81 on the Raptors. On top of that legendary game, the Black Mamba has dropped 60 or more on four additional occasions.
1. Wilt Chamberlain's Never-to-be-Broken Record of 100 Points
This record by Chamberlain will NEVER be broken. 100 points in a game is basically unfathomable. In case you missed it, Wilt the Stilt is the all time leader in 60-point games, by far. In total, Chamberlain dropped 60 on 32 occasions throughout his career. 32 times!