ICYMI on January 22, 2006, Kobe Bryant scored 81 points against the Toronto Raptors in the second-most prolific single-game scoring performance in NBA History. It was the most points ever scored in an NBA game by someone not named Wilt Chamberlain.
Okay, so not a whole lot of Lakers fans weren’t aware of that. In fact, so many of them are aware of that that it has become pretty standard for members of “Lakers Twitter” to be blocked by Jalen Rose on the social media site.
Why? Well, because most of Bryant’s 81 (or at least enough) came at the expense of Rose as then-Raptors coach Sam Mitchell refused to send a double team. It’s something many Lakers fans have reminded Rose about since, with him issuing blocks on Twitter for “81” jokes and references.
It seems Rose might be ready to have a bit more fun with the memory now that Bryant has joined him at ESPN, however. In the newest ad for the four-letter sports coverage behemoth, it’s Bryant cracking the latest “81” joke:
this kobe bryant and jalen rose commercial omg pic.twitter.com/iEgWbUjcHb— Jordan Heck (@JordanHeckFF) June 5, 2017
I have watched this video approximately 81 times now, and Rose’s “WTF, man” stare right after Bryant asked for 81 olives has nearly killed me every single time.
ESPN almost always does a great job with these ads, but this is easily one of their best ever. It’s even funnier if you pretend Bryant isn’t being paid by ESPN for his #MuseCage videos and that all he demanded in exchange was that ESPN let him make this commercial.
In all seriousness though, kudos to Jalen for being a good sport and getting lit up one more time. This is the perfect way for Lakers fans to start the week.