Monday, March 05, 2012

100 Points Is Hard, Not Impossible

The sports writers of America have been asking themselves a question that's dumb as hell this week:  Is it possible for anyone to ever score 100 points in a basketball game again?

The answer's obvious:  Of course it's possible.  And I know this because I understand what "impossible" means. 

Flying is impossible.  Running a 2 minute mile is impossible.  Catching a meteor is impossible.  If scoring 100 points in a basketball game was impossible, it wouldn't have happened the first time.  Kobe Bryant's the proof that it'll happen again.  Sure, he only scored 81 points in a game, right after scoring 60 points in three quarters just days before.  But who gives a shit about that, right? 

Thing is, Charles Barkley called Kobe's 81 "a perfect storm" right afterwards.  I know many of the great mistakes we make in life start with quoting Charles Barkley, but he was right.  And recreating that perfect storm happens more often than people think. 

See, while Wilt's 100 and Kobe's 81 (and 60 in three quarters) are impressive, let's put this in perspective a little bit.  Wilt was, and Kobe, is a supreme scoring machine.  At the time, each of them was at his peak, and was putting up career high numbers.  They were completely unstoppable.  Players like this don't come along every day, but they do pop up from time to time.  Michael Jordan was one.  LeBron James could be one.  Kevin Durant will likely be one.  And who knows who's coming up in the world 10 or 15 years from now. 

But while LeBron and Durant are talented enough, they're not selfish enough to pull something like that off.  To score 100, you gotta be willing to say "fuck you" to your teammates for the night.  That's what 100 (or 81) points is; a "fuck you" to team basketball.  It doesn't matter what you see in front of you, you're jacking this bitch up.  HARD.  A LOT.  Like the girl you've been after for years who finally says "yes."  She, like this guy's jumper, is gonna have to dry all the way up before they stop.

But the other thing you need is to play against a shitty team.  It's not like Wilt dropped that 100 in the playoffs.  He did it on a random night in March.  Against the Knicks.  And not the Knicks when they were good.  These Knicks went on to win 32 games that season, so it's not like he dropped 100 on a good team.  I don't think they even had a guy above 6'9".  And Kobe's 81?  That happened against the Toronto Raptors.  I can't even be bothered to look up their record, because they always suck.

The thing about shitty teams is that they're always plentiful, especially in this watered down league. Michael Jordan's Bobcats are 4-23 right now, and it seems like there's a team that's challenging for the futility record on a yearly basis.  Unless the league contracts (and it never will, because David Stern pisses on your concerns of quality basketball), there will always be a team bad enough to have DJ Augustin as their best player. 

That's the perfect storm right there.  A team so bad that they couldn't stop Matt Bonner from getting 40 on a given night, against a player so unstoppable that the best anyone else was going to do was stop him from getting 60. 

These sportswriters think it'll never happen, though.  They say that no professional will ever allow that to happen.  And I say that's crazy talk.  One, you can never rule out the incompetence of a general manager to saddle a coach with crap players.  For all you know, they're trying to pull a "Major League."  Second, Sam Mitchell, coach of the Raptors when Kobe caused his team to consider retirement, said that they tried everything.  He said they did everything that they could and it didn't matter.  It's not like they wanted Kobe to drop 81 on them.  He just did it.  And there was only so much that they could do, because defensive rules today are softer than a second-string field goal kicker.  I guess the sportswriters are banking on someone taking the scorer out with a steel chair during a timeout.
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