Just moments before dropping 81 points against the Toronto Raptors, Lakers legend Kobe Bryant revealed he felt “terrible” in the layup line.
Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest icons the sporting world has been privileged to witness. After dedicating uncountable hours in the gym, the Los Angeles Lakers, the Black Mamba really reached the pinnacle of the game at the end of his career.
Bean had a work ethic unlike any others and had a crazy obsession with perfecting his craft. The sheer competitive spirit he possessed and his fixation to be the best at any given point is what helped him set apart from the rest of the superstars.
The Mamba had one of the best resumes. In an illustrious 20-year career, Bean was an 18-time All-Star, 15-time All-NBA player, 12-time All-Defensive player, won an MVP, 5 championships, 2 Finals MVPs, and even has the ASG MVP trophy named in his honor.
Kobe gave us several iconic moments over the span of his two-decades-long career. His first three-peat, 62 points in 3 quarters vs the Mavs, his next two championships, his farewell 60-point game. However, no moment could be more memorable than his 81-point game against the Toronto Raptors back in 2006.
Kobe Bryant disclosed how his knees felt terrible during the layup line minutes before dropping 81 points
On January 22, 2006, Kobe Bryant went on a scoring rampage, giving us one of the best individual game performances in NBA history, dropping 81 points on 46 shot attempts in a huge 122-104 win over the Raptors.
It’s been more than 15 years since Bryant lit up the Raptors, and to date, it remains the second-highest single-game points scored. What was even more incredible than dropping 81 points, was the fact that the Mamba was absolutely unstoppable despite his knee feeling “terrible” just minutes prior to tip-off.
During an interview with Marv Albert, the Lakers legend revealed how his knees seemed sore and stiff before tip-off.
“In the layup line I felt terrible,” Bryant said. “Aww man, my knee was really sore and really stiff. I felt like I was going to have to utilize my jump shot to start the game until my knee loosened up a bit if it did. I was able to tip-toe to the basket a little bit then my knee loosened up and I was able to get into a groove.”
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Only the Mamba could go from having a sore knee to scoring 81 points. The legend of Kobe Bryant never fails to amaze us.