It was a year ago this month of January the world lost one of the greatest basketball players in the history of the sport.
The Los Angeles Lakers star would provide NBA fans with great moments throughout his illustrious career. Many people were in awe of Wilt Chamberlain scoring 100 points against the New York Knicks on March 2, 1962. Unfortunately in those days not every NBA game was recorded or televised.
Fortunately decades later, fans of basketball would be treated to a night to remember that was reminiscent of Chamberlain’s historic night. The night of January 22, 2006 fans in Toronto were witnesses to one of the greatest single-game performances in NBA history.
The Lakers scored a 122-104 comeback victory at home, Kobe Bryant finished with 81 points on 28-of-46 shooting, including 7-of-13 from 3-point range, and 18-of-20 from the foul line. The accomplishment stunned even Bryant himself.
“Not even in my dreams,” Bryant said. “That was something that just happened. It’s tough to explain. It’s just one of those things.
“It really hasn’t, like, set in for me. It’s about the `W,’ that’s why I turned it on. It turned into something special. To sit here and say I grasp what happened, that would be lying.”
Social media pays homage to the legendary night by remembering what it was like on the night 15 years ago.
15 years ago today, Kobe Bryant put on one the most electrifying performances ever.
81 points. Still unreal. pic.twitter.com/yUOkOSLsMR
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 22, 2021
15 years ago today, Kobe went full Mamba, dropping 81 vs. the Raptors 🐍 pic.twitter.com/zB9JSjAsZ2
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 22, 2021
Still undefeated 🤣😂🤣 Kobe ordering 81 olives pic.twitter.com/cXcfD21CmJ
— Ced (@cedfunches) January 22, 2021
15 years ago today, KOBE BRYANT's 81-point masterpiece.
By Quarter: 14, 12, 27, 28
ONLY 18 PTS on Jalen Rose
Lakers down by 18 in the 2nd half
HE outscored TOR 55-41 in 2nd half
Lakers won by 18!
Here’s the late great Stuart Scott with the highlights pic.twitter.com/TZklLImckd
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) January 22, 2021