Mayer: Dipper's record will stand

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Media-types keep babbling over the prospects that Kobe Bryant eventually will break Wilt Chamberlain's pro-basketball record of 100 points in a game. Don't bet the farm.

Lordy, do you realize that no TWO guys ever have combined for 100 in the NBA? That makes Uncle Dippy's 1962 feat even more amazing (no three-point buckets, 2.08 points a minute).

Kobe potted 81 points in the L.A. Lakers' 122-104 victory over the Toronto Raptors. L.A.'s No. 2 scorer that night was (and I'm not making this up) Smush (yeah, you got it) Parker. Parker, a second-year guard out of Fordham, had 13 points, so he and Bryant blended for 94. As starved as he is for identity, Smush probably is boasting that he and Kobe averaged 47 that night.

The highest-scoring game in NBA history was Dec. 13, 1983, at Denver. The Detroit Pistons edged the Denver Nuggets, 186-184. Denver's Kiki Vandeweghe scored 51 points, and teammate Alex English bagged 47 for a total of 98. Dan Issel's 28 points gave the trio a 126 total in a losing cause. For victorious Detroit, Isiah Thomas scored 47, John Long 41 and Kelly Tripucka 35 for a nifty 123.

If you know of a 100-point or better twosome in pursuit of Wilt '62, let me (and the NBA statistical chartists) know. Until then, we go with 98.

The night of The Dipper's 1962 shocker, four other Philadelphia Warriors were in double figures for a 169-147 romp past the New York Knicks. Al Attles scored 17, Paul Arizin and Tom Meschery 16 each, Guy Rodgers 11. Tops for the losing Knicks were Richie Guerin with 39, Cleveland Buckner with 33 and Willie Naulls with 31.

Chamberlain's second-highest game was 78 in 1961; he had four more NBA bursts in the 70-73 range. Denver's David Thompson got 73 in 1978, Los Angeles's Elgin Baylor 71 in 1960 and San Antonio's David Robinson 71 in 1994. Now we have Kobe's 81, but he's still an also-ran. I still doubt anyone ever will top Chamberlain. Michael Jordan? Only 69.

Wilt still holds about 50 pro records. It's unfortunate his 100-point explosion overshadows that in '62 he did something else I doubt anyone ever will match: For the whole season, he averaged 50.4 points and, get this, 25.7 rebounds. You hear a lot about the 50.4; how about those boards?

Back to Smush Parker, Kobe's 13-point backup. He's typical of why so few new fans get NBA-hungry. Who ever heard of Smush except some guy trying to fill a roster for a fantasy game? If you gamesters like trivia, bear in mind that point guard Smush turns the ball over a lot, commits numerous fouls and is so inconsistent that he's "a very unappealing fantasy option."

Get off Bill Self's back about the Micah Downs defection! Any time you "lose" a kid with the obvious issues Micah had, you boost your team's prospects for success by at least 10 percent. Micah had a record of discontent and constant movement at the high school level (seven schools). We don't know if that was because of him or ambitious parents.

He obviously had skills and enjoyed productive moments. But guys around the program say he never quite fit in, couldn't ratchet up the effort and dedication major-college ball demands and should be happier at Gonzaga, where challenges are not so high.

The Downs situation is better resolved now rather than later, such as some too-lenient indulgences of the recent past.