HoopsHype.com Fan Mail
Kobe: 81 points
These are excerpts of some of the many e-mails readers have sent following Kobe Bryant's performance against the Toronto Raptors. You can still send your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please don't forget to include your name and town.
Kob keeps shutting people up. Plain and simple. Press says he's this and he's that when, quite frankly, he's the best player in the league. He's the superstar that gives you everything – leadership, defense, along with his ability to light it up. You can argue that he shoots too much, but that team isn't even close to .500 if he doesn't do so. From all of us over coaching at his stopping grounds, can the best player in the league finally get recognized for what he does night in and night out?
Kobe's performance is probably the best by an athlete in a regular season game in any sport ever – at least in my generation. I'm 29. Have in mind Toronto does play zone defense, and so does Dallas – therefore Kobe ended up getting his highest scoring against them. Kobe is probably the best one-on-one NBA player since Jordan.
– Alex Feghhi
I'm a Mavs fan, so I've got my Kobe hangups, but I have to say he's quite possibly the most complete offensive player in the history of basketball. He's still young, so that's a hell of an endorsement. He's still not a great leader, but if he's putting up 50+ a game, I think they'll be alright without a leader. Los Angeles still isn't a championship contender. Until there's more talent on the Lakers (or until Kobe elevates the play of his current team), they're a one-man show that ends before May. While L.A. was showcasing their superhero to beat the Raptors, Dallas was tying San Antonio for #1 in the West. I wonder which stat Kobe would rather have: 81 or 1?
– Jared Culpepper
The numbers he is putting up are ridiculous and he is leading an average at best team to the playoff, which is a great achievement thus far. He is one of the top defenders every year and the other day may have had the best individual performance in basketball history. My hat goes off to Kobe. I have to respect a man with his focus and dedication – especially after all of the adversity he has had to go through. Should he be named MVP this year? No doubt!
– Darren Tarver
What Kobe did was simply amazing. I think his performance solidifies his spot as the best player in the league. Me and my friends, who all play basketball, are always discussing who is better – LeBron, Iverson, T-Mac... But Kobe set himself apart from this group after his performance. 81 points is insane, but what is more insane is that Kobe did not even set career highs in field goals attempted, three-point field goals made and free throws attempted. His percentage was higher than his season average. Just think how many points he would have scored if he would have played the whole game (played 41 minutes) and taken 10 more shots. He might of broken the record.
– Brad Rich
Without a doubt, Kobe Bryant is Kobe Bryant. Many will compare him to Michael Jordan and others. He may be a little bit of World B. Free, Vinnie Johnson, Andrew Toney and Rolando Blackman. He may have a touch of Thompson or Gervin. But regardless of comparisons, he is strictly Kobe Bryant. And he deserves to be compared to himself, as he has raised the bar for himself. I think that was the most electrifying performance since David Thompson scored 73 against Detroit. With his 61 percent from the field shooting, I think he clearly distinguished himself from Allen Iverson, Ray Allen, Tracy McGrady, Vince Carter and LeBron James as the games most lethal scorer. However, James does has a few years to achieve Kobe's level of confidence and may possibly indulge in a historic event of his own in the future. But from James, I would expect something like 44 points, 15 rebounds and 13 assists.
Typical performance out of him. He waits for his team to fall behind in the score, then tries to act like the savior. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Now that his team sucks, he's the only one who can score
Greatest performance ever? Please... To see the best performances ever you have to see games that count.. For that you have to go to the playoffs to have a better perspective. Magic Johnson playing center, MJ playing
I want to see a performance like this against the Spurs or the Pistons when it really counts. Anyone really remembers the 71 points David Robinson scored against the Clippers to win the scoring title? I don't think so.
Great talent and great showman... Below average competitor.
– Javier Leiva
Kobe has proven that he is the best player in the NBA. There is no question about it. Sometimes his defense is overlooked by his offensive abilities. He also has that killer instinct like no other. And now he has put on that prolific scoring spree. 81 can not be reached in this current day by anyone besides Kobe. He should win MVP.
– Tremaine Ostean
I still think basketball is a team sport. Look at his assists numbers. And the second-best scorer on the Laker team, just 13 points. True, it was one historical performance, but if Kobe can get a quadruple double, that would be even more impressive in the sport of basketball. Play like Kobe, you get historical numbers. Play like the Pistons, you get rings.
– Anthony Au-Yeung
I'm still sick to my stomach to the lackluster performance my Toronto Raptors displayed Sunday night. Is this the best individual performance in this era of basketball? Probably not, but this is closer to the worst team performance of this era. I'm downright disappointed with the effort the Raptors showed. Even more disappointed with the way the coaching staff handled this game.
I'm just frustrated by the decisions that Sam Mitchell made in the game, especially in the second half. I can understand that the Raptors are going for a youth movement, but you should have some sense to not let your team get embarrassed like that. You just became a part of history in the wrong way. How many assist did Kobe have? Two. What does that tell you? Double team him as soon as he gets the ball, and I don't mean a late double team, I'm talking a strong double or triple forcing the ball out of his hands.
– Shawn Dukhie
It was definitely a great performance, but he should never have broken 70. If the Raps had any pride, they would have made sure he didn’t stick it to them by triple teaming him and playing a lot more physically. Unfortunately, everyone, including Sam Mitchell, was far too absorbed by what Kobe was doing to actually coach. How else do you explain the Raps down by 20 with two minutes left and Jose Calderon is guarding Kobe one-on-one?
– John Eysman
Kobe is my favorite player. Although I was so into the Seattle Seahawks first visit to the Super Bowl, I did have time to catch some of the highlights and Kobe was unbelievable. I’m not old enough to have known much about Wilt’s 100 points, but seeing the 81 points from Kobe Bryant on last nights box score makes you have to say: "Kobe is Superman."
– Corey Barton
Definitely the best performance ever. 81 points coming from a guard – shooting 61 percent. I've always been a Kobe fan and now I think everyone will realize how great this man will end up to be. The greatest of all time. His will and determination to win is unbelievable.
I was watching the game in Toronto cheering for the Raptors and what I witnessed was simply amazing! I'm the most loyal fan and going into the fourth quarter, all I could do was cheer for Kobe. This is one of those type of events that you will be telling your grandkids about in the future. I am so grateful to have been watching history in the making. Kobe is simply amazing and I truly bow down to him for the 81 points. He is officially the new king of basketball. All hail Kobe!
– Mike Willis
For all the naysayers and all of the people that constantly put Kobe down, he just goes out onto that court and every night shows why he is one the best players of his generation. You can judge his personal life, judge his personality, but no man, woman, or child can deny the fact that Kobe Bryant is an excellent ball player. Guys like Kobe and Allen Iverson do what they feel is necessary to win. Honestly, the NBA needs more players like AI and Kobe. Guys that lay it all on the line every time they step onto the court.
It's obviously the best performance I've seen, since I've never seen Wilt's 100. And 28 for 46 from the field is probably the most impressive statistic I've ever seen. I play Division III ball, and I remember how spectacular it was to see an opposing guard go 14 for 23 en route to a 45-point night. Kobe doubled up on that performance. I wonder if this game will be overhyped from here on out, though. For example, the columnist Marc Stein on ESPN.com said that perimeter players have a tougher time setting a scoring mark than big men. I highly disagree, since big men rarely ever get up 25 shots in a game, just about every shot by a big man is taken withstanding contact, most big men are not advised to take three-pointers, and big men don't have as much space to operate to get to the basket as guards.
– Ray Brown
When my friend came up to me and told me, "Dude, Kobe dropped 81 on the Raptors and 55 in the second half", I obviously did not believe him so when I found out that it was true, the hours were filled with surrealism and a couple of high-fives.
– Elias Karl Gudmundsson
When an NBA baller scores 81, it ratchets up my attention. When the NBA's biggest asshole drops 81, it elicits nothing no more than a grunt. Is he a great scorer? Yes, absolutely. Was I cheering him on? No, and I never will.
– James Park
In a time of lock-down defenders and zone defense, how is it possible that a guard could score 81 points? Wilt Chamberlain was pretty good, but he was consistently in a better position to score (with lack of quality defenders against a player like him). But Kobe Bryant, at 6-6, scored 81 points and earned virtually every one of them. At the same time, he not only made the Raptors look foolish, he made every single star in the NBA seem insignificant. It is the greatest single-game performance in the history of sport in my opinion.
I don't care how many points he scores, Kobe Bryant may be the worst teammate in NBA history. In my 40 years of watching the NBA, never before have I seen such an arrogant, self-centered player. He demands the ball on every possession, berates his teammates when they don't give him the ball or make a mistake and stares down defenders when he feels they fouled him too hard. He is the worst example of leadership I have witnessed on any level.
Other guys have had better overall games in NBA history – like Wilt's 100-point game, Magic's 42-15-7 in Game 6 of the 1980 Finals or James Worthy's triple-double in Game 7 of the 1988 NBA Finals or even Michael Jordan's 69 point-18 rebound game against Cleveland in 1990, just to name a few.
Now I know there's gonna be some haters out there that say that it was impressive, but it was against the Raps. I live in Toronto and although I've seen AI and VC school the Raps before, Kobe's performance yesterday was something that tops them all.
When you are in the same category as Wilt and can say that you've scored more in one game than MJ, that's something no one can argue. 81 is all you gotta say. 81...
– Kevin Yue
Let me start out by saying I have been a Kobe hater since Day 1. My hometown team has always been the Portland Trail Blazers and as most Blazer fans do, I hate the Lakers. My dislike of Kobe has always been far superior to that of any other player. Over the course of the Lakers threepeat, I always found myself saying, "At least don't let Kobe get MVP."
However, some of my views have changed starting with Steve Nash winning MVP last season. Last year, I thought nobody in the NBA deserved MVP. Nash seemed to have received it by default since somebody had to be awarded and his team was tops. After seeing that Nash has been mentioned in MVP campaigns again, along with fellow point guard Chauncey Billups, who is also undeserving due to Detroit's success being a team effort, not an individual one, I have finally come to my senses about Kobe.
I still do not like him, but this year there is no choice but to give the Most Valuable Player award to #8. Plus, I would like to point out that I came to this conclusion two days before Kobe dropped an 81-point bomb on the Toronto Raptors. Wow! I have never before had so much respect for somebody I disliked so much. Much of my hatred has been pushed aside for the time being just for me to cherish the fact that I'm witnessing a pivotal time in NBA history. May the MVP award go to Kobe Bryant... And then may he get destroyed in the playoffs.
– Justin Donovan
That performance has been the best one player has showed since the days of Michael Jordan. It will be remembered as one of the greatest one-man-shows in NBA history. And that’s exactly the point: He’ll never reach the level MJ did. Kobe won’t be mentioned as a player developing a team despite the rings he won and will win and despite the records he’ll hold. It’s just because of the character he owns. People will always talk about the Lakers mentioning Shaq and Jackson together with Kobe.
– Toralf Stertze
Firs of all, I have to say that I'm a Laker-hater. I don't like Kobe at all. I don't like guys that want the rest of the roster to play for them. That's why I don't like Kobe and AI and that type of guys. But yesterday the game started almost at 4 AM (Spanish time) and I went to bed at almost 7 in the morning after watching one of those things that happens probably once in a lifetime. And now I'm working after sleeping just 2 hours. But man... Who cares! It was worth it.
All I have to say is, Kobe MVP! Sorry LeBron, I've seen the light.
– Juan de Miguel
I am a Raptor fan and I am so embarrassed for my team right now it's unbelievable. I can't believe how soft the Raps are. There is no way that Kobe should've been able to score 81 points in a game. I'm not really sure who's more to blame, the coaching or the players.
I guarantee this would not have happened on a team coached by Gregg Popovich, or Jerry Sloan or any competent coach.
Kobe Bryant and his nightly assault on the record books is reaching unparalleled heights. Bryant is on a team where there is no other individual the opposition must worry about. Each game, his defender and the other team aim to prevent #8 from scoring by throwing various double teams, zone coverages and other elaborate defenses at him. Clearly, defensive minds are growing tired of his game, which seemingly has no weaknesses. Kobe, all of 27 years of age, is unquestionably the best player in the league. His game has no holes, no blemishes, no weaknesses. Kobe naysayers will say he's a ballhog, he needs to make his team better. To that I remind them that he plays alongside Smush Parker, Chris Mihm and Kwame Brown. The Lakers have no bench to speak of, and no inside presence whatsoever. All these factors would lead you to believe that defenses could contain the man, but they haven't even begun to figure it out. Kobe Bryant is as good as MJ (especially at his age), and already has three rings. Kobe haters will point out they're Shaq's. How many titles has he won without Kobe
That was nuts. My boy is like a Jedi knight out there. I'm gonna start calling him Kobe Wan Kenobi. Tell Lamar to wake up, though. Where's his head lately?
– Eric Blackmon
That Kobe got 81 shows two things that are very difficult to argue:
1. Kobe is a really good basketball player.
2. Kobe has totally stopped caring about what anyone else on the planet has to say about him or his game, and has decided that he is going to try to score every time he touches the ball.
All it takes for a player of that level to score 80 is to decide that they want to shoot 46 times, and a coach who will allow it.
– Adam Tetzloff
Tell us what you think about this Fan Mail. E-mail us at HoopsHype@HoopsHype.com