w: Ryan Payne

The Admiral

On the last day of the 1993-1994 NBA Season, two future Hall of Famers were locked in an epic scoring battle, each vying to capture the coveted NBA scoring title for that season. David Robinson, nicknamed The Admiral, of the San Antonio Spurs trailed Shaquille O’ Neal, then with the Orlando Magic, by 33 points going into the final day of the season on April 24, 1994.

As if out of a novel, both Robinson and Shaq had games that day, and with Robinson already trailing 33 points behind Shaq, Robinson not only had to overcome that deficit, but also had to outscore whatever points Shaq racked up on his last game as well. The goal of being scoring leader seemed to be sailing away from The Admiral.

The 71

Shaq scored 32 points that night, increasing the number of points Robinson had to beat to 65 in order to win the NBA scoring title for the ’93 – ’94 season. At the time, only 5 players had scored 66 points or more in an NBA basketball game: Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamberlain, David Thompson, Pete Maravich, and Michael Jordan. Besides Michael Jordan’s 64 point performance during the ’93 – ’94 season, no one had attained 60 points or more since Pistol Pete Maravich in 1977.

Robinson ended the night with 71 points, edging out Shaq by a mere 6 points for the scoring title and securing his place as an NBA great. Robinson’s 71 still remains as one of the highest point totals ever scored by a single player in an NBA game, behind only David Thompson, Wilt Chamberlain, and Kobe Bryant.

Adversity

Robinson’s idea and dream of being the scoring leader had few boundaries, save for the end of his career or a career-ending injury. But the inspiration and drive to achieve the scoring title in the last game of the season had a small, perishable window. Inspiration doesn’t wait for anyone or anything, and luckily Robinson was ready. Will you be?

Facing adversity, being different, facing difficulties, and wanting to accomplish something great does not build your character, it simply reveals it. How you react to the obstacles you face is entirely up to you. But your results will continue to be average at best unless you work to build your character and better yourself, so when the day comes when you have to score 71, you can do it.

Sources: 
nba.com/spurs/features/robinson_71_points.html
basketball-reference.com/
www.youtube.com/watch?v=24NLqvKER1c

 

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