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and no one is there except for Kobe, who has been there since 6 a.m. Kobe wasn't just a great offensive player; he was a great defensive player that season.
He was scoring 40 and guarding guys like Tracy Mc Grady, Vince Carter, Gilbert Arenas and Paul Pierce every night.
But for many, a regular-season game against the Toronto Raptors 10 years ago remains the high-water mark for one of the game's greatest players. 22, 2006, Bryant scored 81 points in the Los Angeles Lakers' 122-104 victory over the Raptors. The Lakers made the playoffs in each of Bryant's first eight seasons.
When I got traded to the Lakers from Washington that summer, I was on East Coast time, and I show up to the facility at 7 a.m.
The guy outscored us by himself for three quarters. Laron Profit: I actually came in for Kobe in the fourth quarter and tore my Achilles.
I think later, [in 2013], he knew he tore his because he saw what happened to me.
When he introduced the "Channel the Villain/Unleash the Hero" slogan for his final season with an online video, the opening scene featured him scoring his 81st point at the free throw line."It's really a testament to the power of imagination, honestly," Bryant told earlier this month. Kobe Bryant, Lakers guard, 1996-present: He [Jackson] is such a basketball genius in terms of the details of the game, the little nuances of the game and the rhythm of the game.
"There's a lot of players who come up now who don't think 80 points is possible. So the game with him gets played at a much higher level than I think people understand.