Bernard King says he would trade the 60-point game for a win in a heartbeat. He felt dejected because Knicks lost that Christmas game to the Jets in 1984.
Bernard King played for multiple teams in his 16-year career, most notably for the New York Knicks. He won the scoring title with them in the 1984-85 season and consecutive All-NBA first-team selection.
At the peak of his career, King averaged 32.9 points a game but the Knicks failed to make the playoffs. He suffered a knee injury and it took him time to get back to volume scoring. Later in his career, he went as high as 28 a night but suffered another injury.
He returned to the New Jersey Nets, the team that originally drafted him, for his final season in 1992. The Hall of Famer has a unique record to his name, but it is bitter-sweet for him to this day.
A record-setting game without a win is of no value to Bernard King
Christmas Day games are always highly anticipated. And a team has got to be really good to make it to the lineup that day. It would be incomplete without a game in the Mecca of basketball, Madison Square Garden.
New York Knicks faced New Jersey Nets on Christmas Day 1984 and fell short 120-114. However, Bernard King, their star player that season, set a record for most points scored in a Christmas game. 37 years later it is still unbroken
But the memory of that game is not as delightful for Bernard King. “Whether I scored 15 points or 60 in a game, the bottom line was: Did we win?” he said. “Scoring 60 points may take on an added flavor, especially after many years because it’s still so memorable for so many people, but at that moment, I felt total dejection.
He concluded the night with 60 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists in 41 minutes. He had an incredible 5-game stretch post that but the Knicks lost every single game. Winning the scoring title that season was no consolation for missing the playoffs for Bernard King.
Nevertheless, he was grateful for the opportunity to play in Madison Square Garden in a Christmas Day game and set a record.