Sports and sneaker fans lost an icon in January after learning about the tragic passing of NBA legend Kobe Bryant, who was killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif. while on his way to a basketball tournament with his daughter Gianna.
With this year’s “Mamba Day” rapidly approaching, what better way to celebrate Bryant’s legacy than through the sneakers he’s put on shelves throughout his illustrious 20-year NBA career.
It’s worth noting that Nike is also celebrating Bryant this month with “Mamba Week,” a seven-day event jampacked with programming and retail launches inspired by the Black Mamba’s basketball career and life, which kicks off on his birthday, Aug. 23. The brand also added that it will honor Bryant’s “Mamba Mentality” mindset by donating a $1 million to the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation, which are organizations that help bring sports into the lives of kids, despite gender or financial burdens.
Without further ado, here are a few of Kobe Bryant’s best signature sneakers that you can buy now ahead of 2020’s “Mamba Day.”
Nike Kobe 1 Protro
In 2018, Nike Basketball and Kobe Bryant introduced their new Protro line, which introduced classic Kobe sneakers but combined with modern technology. The Nike 1 Protro was the first sneaker to be released and it featured a mid-cut upper that’s paired with a full-length Zoom bag in the midsole for explosiveness. This specific colorway was worn by Bryant during his historic 81-point game in ’06 when he faced off against the Toronto Raptors.
Adidas Crazy 8
Before Bryant ever inked a deal with Nike, the Los Angeles Lakers legend has a sponsorship with Adidas, which resulted in a handful of signature models including the Adidas KB8 that released in ’98. This style was made famous when Bryant laced it up at the ’98 NBA All-Star Game where he was selected to be a starter for the first time ever.
Nike Kobe 11 ‘Fade to Black’
As part of the “Fade to Black” collection, this was the style that Bryant wore during the last NBA game of his career where he scored 60 points against the Utah Jazz. The low-profile design comes in a black-based color scheme with gold accents and a translucent outsole.
Nike Kobe 4 Protro ‘Draft Day’
The Nike Kobe 4 is arguably one of Bryant’s most popular Nike Kobe models and last year, the brand updated the model with new materials for the Protro line and one of the styles to release was the “Draft Day” colorway. The teal and purple-based colors are inspired by the Charlotte Hornets team that drafted Bryant in the ’96 NBA Draft before eventually trading him to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Nike Kobe 5 Protro
Another fan-favorite model in the Nike Kobe line amongst sneaker fans is the Kobe 5 that initially released in ’10 before it was reissued as a Protro model last year including in its popular “Chaos” colorway. It sports an iridescent upper with neon accents and is cushioned with a Zoom Air midsole.
Nike Mamba Fury
The Nike Mamba Fury is the newest Kobe sneaker to release following Bryant’s tragic death. It features a low-cut upper with snake-like graphics on the upper as well as on the rubber outsole. Grab the pair for retail now on Nike’s website.
Nike Kobe 6 ‘Grinch’
The Nike Kobe 6 “Grinch” made its debut when Bryant wore it for the NBA Christmas Day game in ’10. The color scheme pays homage to the main character from the classic film “The Grinch” with its vibrant green upper with a contrasting black Swooshes on the sides and red accents on the tongue and heel.
Nike Kobe AD NXT FF
The Nike Kobe Ad NXT FF is one of the few models that released after Bryant retired in 2016. The shoe features a high-tech design with the use of the Swoosh’s FastFit system in the midfoot on the breathable QuadFit mesh upper along with a plush React foam midsole.
Nike Kobe AD NXT 360
Another post-retirement shoe that Nike Basketball dropped within the Kobe line is the Kobe AD NXT 360 with this pair wearing the Los Angeles Lakers colors. It comes with a yellow 360-degree Primeknit upper that’s paired with purple accents, which sits atop translucent tooling. Grab the shoe now for below its suggested retail price.
Nike Kobe A.D.
The Nike Kobe A.D. released shortly after Bryant walked away from the sport of basketball and it comes with a tonal purple color scheme with gold accents as a nod to the Los Angeles Lakers’ team colors. The upper boasts a mid-cut design for ankle lockdown, which sits atop a foam midsole for responsiveness on the court.
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