Shaquille O’Neal Believes Steph Curry, James Harden, and a Few Other Players Can Surpass Kobe Bryant’s 80-Point Record

Published 03/02/2021, 10:32 AM EST
Lakers Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal sit on the bench with foul trouble against the Timberwolves in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals at Staples Center Monday. (Photo by Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)


When Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points in a single NBA game, nobody thought it could be broken. The same thought still resonates on everyone’s mind, but one player came close to matching the feat back in 2006. Kobe Bryant dropped 81 against the Toronto Raptors, a performance that will never be forgotten. 

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Kobe Bryant and his 81-point game against the Raptors is the second highest point game by a player in NBA history. Everyone was in disbelief after the final buzzer, including Bryant. 

“Not even in my dreams,” Bryant mentioned after the game. “That was something that just happened. It’s tough to explain. It’s just one of those things.”

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LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 26: Laker’s Kobe Bryant ,24, celebrates a three pointer in the fourth quarter as the Lakers beat the Nuggets 122-107 during a first round playoff basketball game between the Denver Nuggets and the Los Angeles Lakers April 23. 2008 at Staples Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

Ever since Bryant completed just the second 80-point game in NBA history, another set of speculations popped up in the NBA community. Will there be any other player surpassing this feat? There are a lot of talented scorers in the NBA, but who will be the third person to touch the 80-point mark?

Shaquille O’Neal gives his take on who will be the next after Kobe Bryant to drop 80

It is just hard to predict, isn’t it? Who would’ve ever thought Bryant would torch the Raptors for 81 points? However, it is the kind of world we live in, a world filled with imaginations and speculations. 

Shaquille O’Neal was asked to weigh in on this matter when he recently appeared on the ‘Dan Patrick Show.’ The host sought O’Neal’s opinion, whose personal record is 61-points scored in a single game against the LA Clippers in 2000

“If anybody can do it, I think it could be James [Harden] Kyrie [Irving], [Kevin Durant], Steph [Curry], Devin Booker, those are all the names that come to mind right now that could probably surpass that,” O’Neal mentioned. 

It is quite an admirable list mentioned by the ‘Big Diesel.’ All of them might snatch the record away from Bryant, but what about their current records? Have any of them touched the 70-point mark in their careers before? 

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The answer is yes, but only Devin Booker has managed to touch the 70-point mark. He achieved the feat in March 2017 in a regular-season game against the Boston Celtics. 

Booker is yet another player who draws inspiration from Bryant, and if he continues to follow in the footsteps of the Mamba, the Phoenix Suns guard will undoubtedly mark his name alongside the Lakers legend. 

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Arjun Athreya

1807 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.

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