Lakers fans remember it like it was yesterday: the night in 2006 when Los Angeles hosted the Toronto Raptors in a regular season game. Of course, there was one particular player whose performance was anything but regular.. Gearing up for his tenth NBA season, Kobe Bryant had a game that will go down in history forever.
Shooting 28-46, Kobe tallied a career high 81 points, the second highest total ever in a single NBA game. Of course, Wilt Chamberlain’s 100 points in 1962 remains the benchmark for points scored in a single game. Kobe’s performance is even more impressive when considering the dramatic changes the game experienced throughout the period between each record. Players putting up such astronomical scoring totals is nearly unheard of in today’s game, so this will likely be one that people remember for a long time to come.
Another notable aspect of this historic game was Bryant’s footwear. After leaving adidas, Kobe was settling into his new home at Nike. This was the beginning of his long-running signature line, as he was laced in a white/purple Zoom Kobe 1 colorway, which have gone onto attain the “81 Points” moniker. Featuring full length Zoom Air, Carbon Fiber accents, and a lower cut than other sneakers at the time, the Zoom Kobe 1 paved the groundbreaking models that would follow.