1. Nike Zoom Kobe 1 “81”
81 points. End of story. No words needed.
This should come to no surprise to you at all. Even if you aren’t a big fan of the Mamba or even if you aren’t a heavy Kicksologist, you know about this game. You know about the shoes he wore in this game. If not, this list was maybe not meant for you to read. But hey, it’s okay because here we are…
The Nike Zoom Kobe 1 simply was the model for the books. This 81 point game against the Toronto Raptors in 2006 was legendary. Here’s a quick fun fact about the evening before the monumental game.
“So we had a birthday party (for my daughter Natalia) at the house the day before the game where we had family and friends come over. It was a great day with face painting and all that stuff. That night, I had my therapist come over and work on my knee because my knee was really giving me a lot of problems. So I had my knee worked on and ordered a pepperoni pizza with grape soda. I finished it that night.”
Fresh from pepperoni pizza and grape soda, you get 81 points. He was still rocking number 8 during this time, but it’s fair to say that this was when the world granted him the name, “Black Mamba”. Bryant became this snake-like entity on the court that year and evolved into a new jersey number, 24 that off-season of 2006.
Who knew that 10 years ago, Kobe Bryant would have such a career defining moment. Social media has become a huge part in today’s world that for the past several years, January 22nd becomes a top trend on Twitter. The game is replayed on NBA TV and we hear the same stats every single time. 55 second-half points, a phenomenal 66.3% shooting on 46 shots., 28 FG’s made, and 18-20 from the charity stripe. Historic. Legendary.
It took weeks to compile this last and even days to figure out which would top the list at number 1. The Zoom Kobe 4 “Carpe Diem” encompassed all three factors including historical and industry/consumer impact, but nothing can top the “81” point sneakers. It just didn’t feel right having the Kobe 4’s at number 1.
So there you have it folks, the list in all it’s glory. I got to give a shout out to Darryl, Mark, and RL for helping me out with this. All three Kicksologists are Kobe enthusiasts from a very special Facebook group and Lakers fans. I appreciate the help. And to you, the Kicksologists community, thank you for following along this #KobeWeek. It is with my great pleasure to present you this list and hopefully we can catch you down in the comments so we can debate and chat if you wish.
Kobe Bryant had a great 20-year run in the league. It was an honor to be able to compile such a list, but worth every single minute. #ThankYouKobe
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