Lakers icon Shaquille O’Neal reveals the 5 stars he believes can surpass Kobe Bryant’s 81 points
Kobe Bryant’s 81-point performance against the Toronto Raptors in 2006 is one of the best performances in NBA history. Shaquille O’Neal, who played with Bryant on the Los Angeles Lakers, recently revealed a list of five players who could surpass Bryant’s explosion during an appearance on The Dan Patrick Show.
Patrick pointed out that it is nearing the anniversary of Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point outing, which stands as the most in the history of the NBA. After Chamberlain’s performance, which is unlikely to be broken, Bryant’s 81 with the Lakers comes second.
Even though Shaquille O’Neal wasn’t on the Lakers when Kobe Bryant scored 81, he has had plenty of opportunities to watch Kobe’s performance. The five players that O’Neal believes could surpass Bryant’s insane output of points are James Harden, Kyrie Irving, Stephen Curry, Devin Booker and Kevin Durant.
Harden has gotten somewhat close to scoring 81 points, as he’s scored 61 points twice in his career when he was with the Houston Rockets. As for Irving, the shifty point guard has put up 57 points in a game during his previous stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Curry has never had a problem scoring, as he is the most recent player to score 60-plus points after he tallied 62 in January. On the other hand, Durant surprisingly has the lowest single-game career-high in points with 54.
Lastly, Booker is actually the leader among this group in single-game scoring after putting up a whopping 70 points against the Boston Celtics earlier in his career with the Phoenix Suns. What makes O’Neal’s list interesting is that the Brooklyn Nets have three of the five players in his list.
While it’s unlikely to happen, the former Lakers big man believes there are a handful of players who could put up more than 81 points in a game.