On Christmas Day in 1984, Bernard King set a points record that would stand until just a week ago.
When Carmelo Anthony scored 62 points against the Bobcats last Friday, he etched a permanent spot into New York basketball history by becoming the highest scoring player in a single game at Madison Square Garden. Every hoops fan in the city was mesmerized by Melo’s performance, but those who recall what Bernard King did to the Nets during a Christmas Day matchup have seen that type of memorable performance before.
The Knicks lost to the Nets on December 25th, 1984, but like last week, a 60-point performance stole the show from the winning team. King was untouchable that day, putting up 40 points in the first half, and doing much of his work on the interior. He went to the line 26 times, making 22 of those attempts, while shooting 19-30 from the field.
Had King been able to play with today’s offensive principles, he might have put up way over 60. In those days, the three-pointer was hardly used as an offensive weapon. While lighting up the Nets, King missed his one and only three point attempt. To put it in perspective, Carmelo Anthony hit six threes on eleven attempts en route to just two more points than the recently named Hall of Famer.
Although Anthony now holds the MSG record, King’s magical Christmas should never be forgotten. It may be a long time before anyone touches the 60-point mark on one of the NBA’s most important holidays.