Growing up, former Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant admired Michael Jordan. But he also admired the man behind Jordan’s shoes: Tinker Hatfield.
The Nike designer is behind the Air Jordan line, as well as countless other Nike silhouettes. Bryant, who played his last NBA game on April 13, is collaborating with Hatfield on the Kobe 11 Tinker Muse — part of the Kobe 11 Muse Pack that also features collabs with Nike designer Eric Avar and Nike president and CEO Mark Parker.
“The Jordan IIIs were my all-time favorite, still my favorite to this day,” Bryant said. “To be able to grow up and appreciate all the Jordans and then to actually sit with the man who designed those and kind of understand how he designed them the way he did, why he designed them the way he has … that’s amazing.”
As a nod to both Hatfield’s and Bryant’s love for the Jordan line, the Kobe 11 Tinker Muse features Jordan elements such as color blocking and red embroidery. The inside of the tongue has both men’s signatures.
At tipoff of Bryant’s final game, Nike released the Kobe 11 Mamba Day iD sneaker, which was available for 24 hours and noted some of the most significant numbers in Bryant’s career. On Thursday, Nike will deliver the Kobe 11 Draft Day sneaker, a nod to the 1996 NBA Draft, when the Charlotte Hornets took Bryant as the 13th overall pick.
The Kobe 11 Tinker Muse will be available on May 5 at Nike.com and in select retailers worldwide.