In his first game for the Brookyn Nets, Kyrie Irving made 50 points on 51% shooting, as well as not committing a single turnover. Ultimately, his Nets lost against the Minnesota Timbewolves, but it was a memorable night for the guard.
Of course, scoring 50 points on any night is a great accomplishment, but scoring that many points in your debut with a new team, that gets you on quite a special list. And Kyrie not only made it on that list, but he’s now leads the list of highest scoring players in their debut game. Both Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain also managed to score 50 points in the first game of the season, but they did it for a team where they had been playing for a while.
So now we know who has scored the most points in a debut game, but who did Kyrie pass to get on top of the list?
Kiki VanDeWeghe – 47 points
After 35 years, VanDeWeghe’s record was finally broken. On opening night, 1984, VanDeWeghe scored 47 points for his new team, the Portland Trailblazers, setting a new NBA record.
Being the top scorer wasn’t a new thing for VanDeWeghe, as he was averaging 26+ points the past two seasons, and already scored 50+ points in two different games in his previous season with the Denver Nuggets. But, after being traded to Portland over the Summer, no one had expected VanDeWeghe to pick up where he left off in the previous season.
Wilt Chamberlain – 43 points
Chamberlain isn’t only the third highest scorer on this list, but he also did it as an actual rookie. He had already left college the year before, but spent a single year with the Harlem Globetrotters, as at that time, the NBA only accepted players that had finished their college graduating class. So, one year later than planned, Chamberlain joined the Philadelphia Warriors.
In his first game ever in the league, Chamberlain not only managed to score 43 points, but he also grabbed 28! rebounds that game. How’s that for a great debut game. Later that season, Chamberlain also got 43 rebounds in a game.
Of course, Chamberlain continued to be a high scoring player throughout his career. He is only one of five players that have managed to score 60+ points on several occasions, and as expected Chamberlain leads that list. No, not by one of two games, but he scored 60+ points on 32 occasions. Kobe Bryant is closest tot Chamberlain on the list, with 6 games.