Shaquille O’Neal has revealed the five players he believes have the biggest chance to tie or surpass Kobe Bryant’s record of 81 points in a single game. The Los Angeles Lakers legend wasn’t with the franchise when his friend achieved that milestone but he was as astonished as the rest of the NBA world with that performance.
Kobe was one of the best scorers in NBA history and his career points are the prime sample of that. The Black Mamba had a lot of great games during his 20-year career but the biggest one came on January 22, 2006, when he faced the Toronto Raptors and dropped 81 points on them.
Shaq recently sat with Dan Patrick to talk about a variety of topics, including Kobe’s famous game (which has a very good story behind it) and who he thinks could do something similar or better than what Kobe did 15 years ago. O’Neal named five players who have been close to that number in recent seasons and can actually make a run at those 81 in the future (8:25 minute mark).
“If anybody can do it, I think it can be James (Harden), Kyrie, KD, Steph, Devin Booker. Those are all the names that come to my mind right now that could probably surpass that.”
All these players have very good weapons to try to tie Kobe and overcome his record. Out of these players, Booker is the one with the most points scored in a single game, with 70, the record for a 20-year-old. Stephen Curry dropped 62 on the Portland Trail Blazers in January and he’s looked very sharp this season. James Harden scored 61 twice during his time with the Houston Rockets, while Kyrie Irving’s career-high is 57.
Curiously, Kevin Durant is the player with the lowest-career-high scoring with 54 points. He is probably the most skilled scorers of this group but has never had a 60-point game in his career. The Brooklyn Nets star can still aim to get more points in the next couple of seasons to try to get close to Kobe.
That was the biggest display of Kobe’s offensive prowess and it’s very unlikely to be broken, but Shaq believes these five could get a chance to record 81 points in a single match.