Kobe Bryant is the focus of the ultimate Throwback Thursday. On this date, January 22nd in 2006, the Black Mamba dropped 81 points against the Toronto Raptors while wearing his first signature shoe with Nike, the Zoom Kobe 1. Rocking a home colorway of his signature shoe, the folks at Nike probably had a Joker-perma-grin on their faces after watching this game. Kobe was beyond effective during the game shooting 28-46 from the field, 7-13 from beyond the arc and 18-20 at the charity stripe. The 81 points is second only to Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game.
What’s crazy is Kobe never watched the replay until a couple years ago saying, “There’s nothing I could have learned from that game. It was just pure fluke, a freak of nature-type thing.” The game might’ve been fate as that was the one and only NBA game his grandmother attended and it was his passed grandfather’s birthday. The shoes he wore are now in the Basketball Hall of Fame but if you wanted to be like Kobe they eventually released the colorway with special details as well as commemorated the 81-points in the Zoom Kobe 1 “Prelude.”