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15 Years Ago, Kobe Bryant Scored a Career-High 81 Points in the Iconic Nike Kobe 1

With a career as illustrious as the one Kobe Bryant produced, it’s hard to pick a single defining moment. However, it would be tough to argue against his 81-point performance on Jan. 22, 2006.

Years later, looking at the box score is still shocking. The late NBA icon led his Los Angeles Lakers to a 122-104 home win over the Toronto Raptors at the Staples Center, scoring 81 points on 28-of-46 shooting. The second highest scoring Laker during the game was Smush Parker, who dropped just 13 points.

Bryant achieved this feat in the Nike Kobe 1, his first signature sneaker with the athletic giant after spending his early career with rival Adidas. Thirteen years later, Nike would deliver the same white, black and court purple colorway of the shoe in Protro form, featuring updated tech for the on-court needs of the modern baller.

Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant (8) drive past Toronto Raptors' Jalen Rose, left, and Chris Both in the fourth quarter of a NBA basketball game Sunday, Jan. 22, 2006, in Los Angeles (AP Photo/Matt A. Brown)
Kobe Bryant (right) in the Nike Kobe 1 during his 81-point game against the Toronto Raptors on Jan. 22, 2006.
CREDIT: AP Photo/Matt A. Brown

Nike delivered the Kobe 1 Protro “81 Pt Game” — more commonly referred to as “81 Points” — via the SNKRS app on Jan. 22, 2019 to commemorate the achievement. Days earlier, DeMar DeRozan of the San Antonio Spurs — who routinely wears sneakers from the Nike Kobe franchise — wore the look days earlier on Jan. 9 against the Memphis Grizzlies.

Nike Kobe 1 Protro '81 Points'
The lateral side of the Nike Kobe 1 Protro “81 Points.”
CREDIT: Courtesy of Nike

Although long sold out, pairs are still available on the resale market. For instance, both GOAT and Flight Club have pairs of the look starting at $190, and StockX has some listed for as low as $180.  Also, Stadium Goods has the sneaker available starting at $439.

In the almost year after his untimely death in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif., Nike has delivered several fan-favorite sneakers to the market. Arguably the most coveted shoe of the basketball icon released in 2020 was the Nike Kobe 6 Protro “Grinch,” which dropped on Christmas Eve.

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