On Jan. 22, 2006, Kobe Bryant and Luke Walton combined for 81 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals, and 3 blocks. That’s how Walton jokingly talks about that night. If you are a stickler for detail, Kobe did contribute a bit more – 81 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals, and a block.
Luke Walton is the ultimate NBA kid. He grew up following his dad, having unlimited access to locker rooms and team practices. Walton grew up watching Bird and McHale practice, Red Auerbach coach, and talk to the team. Unlike most players, he isn’t in awe when he meets an NBA legend. Walton’s been around them his whole life. It takes something extraordinary to impress him.
“After that 81 point game, I took a ticket to practice the next day, and I asked Kobe to sign it for me. That game was unbelievable and one of those memories that I’ll cherish forever.”Luke Walton
To put it into perspective – Kobe took 50 shots to get to 60 points in his last game. On January 22nd, he took 46 to score 81. Kobe was 60.9% from the field, 53.8.% from three, 90% from the free-throw line. That night he was indeed in basketball nirvana.
It takes something that special to make Luke Walton get a ticket from one of his family members and asks a teammate to sign it for him. It also brought us one of the best clips in NBA history.