Five years ago today, Kobe Bryant had one of the greatest games in NBA history, scoring 81 points and single-handedly beating the Toronto Raptors. It was an amazing achievement at the time, and it is astonishing to look back on how much has changed in the league since Kobe's outburst.
Then, Kobe was reviled by basketball fans for running Shaquille O'Neal and Phil Jackson out of Los Angeles and turning the Lakers dynasty into something the Lakers hadn't been in decades: medicore.
Now, Kobe is climbing the NBA's all-time leading scorers list and has added two more championships to his Hall of Fame resume.
Tonight, the Lakers take on Carmelo Anthony and the Nuggets. Don't be surprised if Kobe pulls off something spectacular.