In January 2006, NBA legend Kobe Bryant tallied one of the most thrilling scoring performances in basketball at a game against the Toronto Raptors, where he scored the second-highest individual score of 81 points. But did you ever wonder who inspired him that night?
Kobe Bryant is a basketball superstar. It is without a doubt that his 81 points single scoring game against the Toronto Raptors was one of his biggest achievements. Bryant mentioned that his grandmother flew for the first time to watch him play.
The Early Life of Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bean Bryant was born on August 23, 1978, in Philadelphia. He is the youngest of three children and is the only son of Pamela Cox Bryant, and former NBA player Joe Bryant. His parents fondly recall naming him after Kobe Beef after seeing it on a restaurant menu in Japan.
Bryant started playing basketball at the young age of three, and even then his favorite team was the Lakers. By the time he turned six, his father retired from the NBA and the family moved to Rieti in Italy where his father continued playing professional basketball. (Source: New York Times)
Kobe Bryant’s Career in the National Basketball Association
Bryant’s 20-year basketball career might be one of the most fantastic ones we have ever witnessed. After earning multiple All-Star appearances, MVPs, scoring titles, and even being dubbed the League’s Best Performer, Bryant continued to shine throughout his career.
After his stint with Shaq from 2000 to 2004, which allowed the Laker franchise to gather three championships, the succeeding years would be a hard path since he did not have enough help moving forward.
Although they fell short of the post-season from 2005 to 2006, this was the best scoring season the NBA has ever seen since the 1960s. That year Bryant took 27 shot attempts per game, he did all the work in scoring. And as a result, he won the scoring title that year but was not given the MVP award. Bryant still proved to be one of the greatest to ever play the game by adding two more championships to his resume. (Source: The Sports Rush)
Kobe Bryant on His Grandmother’s Court Attendance
Bryant rarely spoke about his grandmother. Usually, he brought his kids and wife courtside to watch most of his games.
The day I scored 81 was my grandfather’s birthday, who had passed away a few years before. My grandmother, who had never seen me play in the NBA because her nerves couldn’t take it, flew out to California and came to watch me play for the first time and the only time. That just happened to be the night I scored 81.Kobe Bryant
Although Bryant never specifically mentioned that his performance at the game was motivated by his grandmother’s presence in the arena, it is assumed as such.
(Source: The Sports Rush)
Kobe Bryant’s Passing
In January of 2020, while going to a basketball game, Bryant and his daughter Gianna and seven other passengers tragically died after a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California.
It was the most tragic news that NBA fans have ever heard. But in spite of the terrible loss of one of the best basketball players in the world, people will continue to acknowledge his legacy and be an inspiration for years to come.
His grandmother only saw him play once during his career, but it is no doubt that they are well reunited playing the basketball game on this day forth. (Source: The Sports Rush)