Copyright ©2006 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

ALEX CHADWICK, host:

(Soundbite of announcement: Kobe Bryant scored the second highest point total in NBA history, pouring in 81 points in a 122-104 Laker victory.)

CHADWICK: Basketball fans are still talking about Lakers' star Kobe Bryant whose game on Sunday was truly memorable; 81 points in a single game. Now that is a team record and it is a national record too. It is the second highest scoring game by a player whose name is not Wilt Chamberlain. Wilt famously scored 100 points in a game in 1962. So now Kobe Bryant is number two, but that means the person who was number two it moved down a step. He is basketball star David Thompson and he joins us now.

David Thompson welcome to DAY TO DAY.

Mr. DAVID THOMPSON (Former NBA player): Thank you.

CHADWICK: You scored 73 points once in a game; how did that happen?

Mr. THOMPSON: It was the last day of the regular season and so I started out shooting the ball really well in the first half. I made my first eight shots, didn't miss one, and then made twelve in a row. I made 20 of my first 21 shots, and it made 20 out of 23 for the half, ended up with 53 at halftime.

CHADWICK: And they said, keep going. You were playing for Denver then.

Mr. THOMPSON: Yes, I was playing for Denver at that time. And so at halftime I guess they start a different strategy, so the second half they started double and triple-teaming me and the second half was a little bit tougher.

CHADWICK: And who were you playing against?

Mr. THOMPSON: The Detroit Pistons and they were known to have great defensive players. And at that time they didn't have any three-point shots.

CHADWICK: Do you feel at moments like that, that you truly are in a groove? I've heard players talk about that, but do you feel like, I can't miss?

Mr. THOMPSON: Yeah, you feel like you're in a zone, you know, taking a term from Michael Jordan. You know, you think that every shot you put up is gonna go in. And it was real funny, that first half I was shooting the ball so well and nobody really wanted to say anything to me because they thought they might mess me up.

CHADWICK: You mentioned Michael Jordan; here he is in a basketball documentary talking about you.

Mr. MICHAEL JORDAN (Former NBA player): He's my inspiration; inspiration I think as I was growing up. I was a David Thompson fan. I enjoyed the way he played, his aggressiveness. And at six, four being able to play his game above the rim was, you know, it's truly amazing for any kid to watch.

CHADWICK: That's from Skywalker: The David Thompson Story, a DVD about your career. David Thompson, do you still play basketball?

Mr. THOMPSON: The business I'm in now with To Exalt, we do sport scamps so I have to do a lot of teaching.

CHADWICK: This is a sport's ministry, To Exalt, which you formed that comes out of both your games and your own personal struggles, drugs and alcohol and that sort of thing, and now you're talking to kids about how to go.

Mr. THOMPSON: Yeah, I'm a motivational speaker and I use my life and my testimony as an example for young kids. You know, a lot of your success and happiness in life depends on the ability to make the right choices, and I talk to kids about the choices I made both good and bad and about the ultimate choice anyone can make.

CHADWICK: There's a story that you were so strong, such a great jumper, such an amazing athlete, you could leap up and grab a quarter from the top of the backboard; was that actually true?

Mr. THOMPSON: Well, I could get the quarter, but the legend was I could take a quarter off and leave two dimes and a nickel, but I didn't have that much hang time, so I couldn't do all that. But when I was 17 years old, jumping was one of the things that I did real well.

CHADWICK: David Thompson once scored 73 points in an NBA basketball game, now good enough for number three on the all-time list.

David Thompson, thank you for being with us on DAY TO DAY.

Mr. THOMPSON: Oh, thank you very much.

Copyright © 2006 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.