Devean George: No Laker Doubted Kobe Bryant Could Score 81
Devean George: No Laker Doubted Kobe Bryant Could Score 81

During his time with the Los Angeles Lakers, Devean George became a household name as a role player under head coach Phil Jackson. George had the unique experience of playing alongside Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal on one of the greatest NBA teams of all-time.

Along with winning three titles with the Lakers, George witnessed one of the greatest individual performances in NBA history. The Augsburg product saw Kobe’s most memorable moment first hand with the eventual five-time NBA champion scoring 81 points against the Toronto Raptors in 2006.

George talked about that historic night at the Staples Center in an article he wrote for The Players’ Tribune. The three-time champion claims there was quite a few myths floating around about Kobe’s 81-point game with one of them being that his teammates didn’t believe Bryant was capable of pulling off such a feat:

One of them is that Kobe came out of nowhere to score 81. When I hear people say, “Did you have any idea Kobe could get 81?” and I detect surprise in their voice, I answer, “We didn’t know when, but none of us really doubted that it was possible.”

With Bryant outscoring the Dallas Mavericks by himself with 62 points in three quarters a month earlier, it isn’t all that surprising that George or any of Kobe’s teammates believed he could put up 80 points or more.

Although the Lakers were ultimately knocked out of the playoffs in the first round by Steve Nash’s Phoenix Suns that year, Bryant put up some incredible numbers. Kobe averaged a career-high 35.4 points per game while shooting 45.0 percent from the floor.

Two years later, the Lakers acquire Pau Gasol from the Memphis Grizzlies and become a Western Conference heavyweight once again. Bryant and Gasol quickly form one of the best one-two punches in the NBA eventually leading to three straight NBA Finals appearances and two more NBA titles.

You May Also Like

Lakers Power Forward Julius Randle Is Rising Fast By Beating The Odds

On Tuesday night Julius Randle scored 19 points, grabbed 14 rebounds, and dished 11 assists in a Lakers win over the Memphis Grizzlies, becoming the sixth player in the league to record more than one triple-double this season…

Pre-Game Report: Lakers vs. Timberwolves in London

The champagne has dried. The memories of celebration and glory are now…

Lakers News: Frank Vogel Believes Anthony Davis Did Not Look ‘Limited’ After Injury

The Los Angeles Lakers are in the midst of their first real rough patch as they dropped their third consecutive game, this…

LaVar Ball On If President Donald Trump Helped Get LiAngelo Ball Out Of China: ‘Who?’

LaVar Ball, the father of Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball, dropped the first comments in what will probably be a war of words with President Donald Trump Friday…