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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.Players don't understand it until they experience it and play under his tutelage and [assistant coach] Tex Winter. Brian Shaw, Lakers assistant coach, 2005-11: The stuff Phil wrote in the book was how he felt, and some of the stuff Phil wrote in the book was how Kobe was.I think Kobe felt there was a violation of trust, and when they sat down, Phil basically said, "Can you move past it?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.Wilt Chamberlain, with his 100-point performance for the Philadelphia Warriors in 1962, is the only player to score more in a single NBA game. After they lost the 2004 NBA Finals, coach Phil Jackson left in a messy divorce and star center Shaquille O'Neal was jettisoned to the Miami Heat.A month before playing Toronto, Bryant outscored the Dallas Mavericks by himself through three quarters 62-61 (the Lakers' lead was 95-61).Bryant played only 33 minutes that night and sat out the entire fourth quarter of the Lakers' blowout win over the eventual Western Conference champions.
He was scoring 40 and guarding guys like Tracy Mc Grady, Vince Carter, Gilbert Arenas and Paul Pierce every night.
It was on the same spot on the floor, and our reactions were pretty similar.
John Black, Lakers vice president, public relations, 1989-present: Who knows what he could have scored if he would have played in the fourth quarter.
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.