Love him or Hate him, Kobe Bryant is unquestionably the best basketball player in the NBA today. Bryant and then-teammate Shaquille O’Neal led the Los Angeles Lakers to three consecutive NBA championships from 2000 to 2002. After O’Neal’s departure following the 2003–04 season, Bryant became the cornerstone of the Lakers franchise. He led the NBA in scoring during the 2005–06 and 2006–07 seasons.
In 2006, Bryant scored a career high 81 points against the Toronto Raptors, the second highest number of points scored in a single game in NBA history.