When the Lakers squared off with the Raptors on Jan. 22, 2006, the Lakers were a slightly above average team and the Raptors were even worse. With that being said, the game wasn’t going to be a hot ticket, and as the game tipped off, the prospects of it going down as an NBA classic were slim to none. Those chances got even worse when the Raptors took the lead on the Lakers and it appeared the Lakers were going to suffer another disappointing loss. Man, whoever said that was sure wrong, as Kobe Bryant erupted for a 55-point second half en route to an 81-point game, the second highest offensive outing for any one player in NBA history. Every jumper, drunk, free throw and 3-pointer Kobe sank that night seemed like the easiest thing in the world for the Black Mamba, who single handedly, decimated the entire Raptors defense.
This game may have occured during the down years of the 2000s, however, the moment Kobe stepped off of the court and pointed to the crowd, a mental picture was created in the mind’s of not only Laker fans, but anyone who had witnessed the game. It was easily one of the most incredible offensive showcases in NBA history, and whoever saw it, knew that they had just seen a masterpiece worthy of a Michelangelo painting.
The moment is easily one of the most recognizable in NBA history and it will forever be enshrined in the minds of Lakers fans everywhere. Shout out to Carl Behrent, Jeron Bostic, Ralph Briseno, Jorge Cotero, Alex Sanchez and James Case for suggesting this idea on the Lakers Nation’s Facebook page!