The NBA has seen some mind-boggling individual scoring performances in its 74 year history. 15 years ago Lakers’ legend late Kobe Bryant had one of the best performances as he dropped 81 points against the Toronto Raptors.
This is the second highest scoring record in the NBA only behind Wilt Chamberlain’s 100 point performance. Kobe was showing signs of having a high scoring night because prior to the record game, he was averaging 41.9 points for the last ten games. This included two 50 point performances as well.
The Lakers were facing off against a Chris Bosh and Jalen Rose led Toronto Raptors team. Rose, who had faced off against Kobe in the 2000 NBA finals, already knew how destructive ‘Black Mamba‘ can be.
He again suffered the wrath of Kobe who just went crazy and dropped 81 points on him. In the 41 minutes KB24 played, he shot 60.9% from the field scoring in 28 shots out of the 46.
While this performance would satisfy any other player, it was still a sub-par performance for Kobe. In 2013, on the first anniversary of the iconic performance, ‘Black Mamba’ tweeted about potentially scoring a 100 points.
This only shows Kobe’s mentality and his strive to become the best ever. He certainly had one of the best careers in the NBA and one of the biggest names in G.O.A.T conversations.
Former Raptors’ guard Jalen Rose who was guarding Kobe in the 81-point game spoke about the ‘Black Mamba.’ He said, “I want to celebrate the legend of the Black Mamba and for me it was an honour for me to be the bug on the windshield as he had his all time scoring affair.”
“The second highest scoring game in the history of the NBA. I am glad it was his first time that his grandmother got a chance to watch him play. All of the great things that come with the Mamba Mentality.”
He also said about how Kobe was only focused on basketball and stayed away from engaging in trash talking. Rose said, “The one thing I always tell people about that game, and I was a player who played with a lot of enthusiasm and talked a lot of trash.”
“If you notice, those aren’t highlights. If you ever watch Kobe Bryant play basketball, those ain’t highlights. That’s just him putting in work, and he never talked trash. He never said anything.”
He continued, “I am really greatful that I got a chance to play in that game and got a chance to see his greatness up close and personal.”
Till date it Kobe’s 81 point performance remains one of the best individual performances ever witnessed in the modern NBA.
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