From time to time we ask you to share your NBA stories with us, building and refreshing our corporate memory. Today I was thinking over all the NBA games I'd seen when a question struck me. I wondered what was the greatest single-night performance I'd ever borne witness to.
I've seen quite a few NBA games in person. I've seen great teams, great moments, great superstars. I saw Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon, Patrick Ewing, and Magic Johnson play. I was present for the Perfect First Quarter and some thrilling victories against the Lakers and Sonics. I saw Clyde Drexler-led teams clinch playoff spots and demolish opponents routinely.
For all of that, I think the single greatest individual night I've seen in person came in 1986 when Kiki Vandeweghe dropped 48 on the Supersonics. Maybe it was my younger age, just being amazed that someone could score that much. maybe it was Kiki's 61% clip from the field or the fact that he scored all those points while attempting only a single three-pointer (and missing it). Heck, the Blazers lost the game 127-122 but it was still exciting. There was just something about Kiki's offense when he got rolling. Clyde was more dominant and had better games (none of which I saw in person.) Jordan was the greatest of all time but never had good games in Portland when I was present. Kiki just lit me up on that one night and I can still remember it.
How about you? The greatest performance you ever witnessed doesn't have to involve scoring. Maybe you saw an incredible rebounding or defensive effort or maybe an unheralded player turned the course of an important game out of the blue. It doesn't have to come from a Trail Blazer either. If you watched an opponent blitz the home team--if Charles Barkley or Karl Malone broke your heart with a superhuman effort one night--share that story. All we care about is that the moment was in person, not on TV. Tell us the story and why you remember it so well...joy, heartache, or otherwise.
If you want extra content today you can check out my appearance on the Phil Naessens Show, including the ever popular Stephen Curry vs. Damian Lillard debate plus why people make fun of the Knicks so often.