What the hell just happened? We saw it. We watched each point. We saw what looked to be a man doing what no man under seven feet had ever done. We watched the history of the game and the future of the game collide in the present. We saw a masterpiece. Now we had to put that masterpiece on paper.
This wasn’t a tribute book or even a book designed to analyze Kobe Bryant’s unbelievable 81-point game. This book was meant to capture the experience of that game and make it forever. All the beauty, all the raw energy, all the creativity and the moves that cut both smoothly and jaggedly through the defense time and time again: all of that had to be there. But what was most important, what we knew had to be included in order to make the book resonate with whomever read it, was Kobe himself. We had to bury his emotion in the pages and evoke the arc of his story. We knew exactly what happened on January 22, 2006, but the 81 book did more than describe that experience; it recreated it.
Written by: Isaac Perry for Paradox Media
Research, Creative Consulting: Paradox Media
Creative Direction: Ray Butts and Michael Spoljaric for Nike Brand Basketball
Art Direction: Michael Spoljaric