Perhaps the greatest one-two punch since Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal in the early 2000s is Bryant's birthday (Aug. 23) and Kobe Bryant Day (Aug. 24), the latter a play on the two jersey numbers he wore as a Los Angeles Laker and a celebration of his remarkable career. And what a career it was. Successful sneaker lines with multiple brands. 18 All-Star appearances. Five NBA Championships. Two Finals and one NBA MVP. Above all, the thing Bryant may be best remembered for is his scoring.
In 2014, he even passed Michael Jordan to overtake the number-three spot on the NBA's all-time scoring list—an achievement that was 19 years in the making. His single biggest addition to that total came on a Sunday afternoon in Jan. 2006, when the Los Angeles Lakers found themselves locked in a tough game against the Toronto Raptors. Effectively carrying the team on his back, Bryant helped the Lakers erase an 18-point deficit by knocking down 28-of-46 shots en route to 81 points. That mark stands as the greatest of the modern era, and is only second to Wilt Chamberlain's 100 in 1962.
As Bryant celebrates another birthday and Kobe Bryant Day, we're taking a look back at his best scoring performances, and remembering the sneakers he wore during each.