If you’re from Southern California like us, you can’t escape the Lakers. Come late October, everything is purple and yellow (or gold, depending on who you ask). The Lakers are Southern California basketball. Now, that’s not saying there’s anything wrong with the Clippers, but they don’t have the one person the Lakers have.
You know who it already. Kobe Bryant is the Lakers. Of course there are great players on squad right now, and there have been plenty in the past. None of them will ever be Kobe though. The man put 20 years into the league, and like MJ he drew people’s attention on and off the court.
So you’ve probably heard the news about his retirement, you read the poem, you saw the sentimental pictures. It’s no surprise, he’s not shooting like he used to but that’s alright. There was no “retirements” like we had with Michael. There was a couple surgeries and a couple scandals but he kept playing. So he deserves it.
Now it’s always up for debate, but Kobe is probably the closest thing we’ll get to the G.O.A.T. 2. Of course, there are plenty of other players in the league that kill it. Lebron is a big deal, Curry’s on the come up. People don’t look at them the same though. Maybe it was because he was cocky when he was younger, but Kobe is one of the sportsmen that people want to know about, on court, off court, in his personal life, and so on. So of course, Kobe was always going to be a huge draw.
As a player with a 20 year NBA career a couple Olympic gold medals and plenty of face time, there have been plenty of sneakers dropping along the way. From his questionable earlier years with Adidas to the fire he’s been putting out with Nike, Kobe has had plenty of sneakers with his name on them.
While Kobe’s sneaker history might not hit all the same high notes as the ubiquitous Jordan line, he’s put out some solid kicks. Mind you, sneakerheads are camping out for retro Kobe’s, especially the monstrosities he put out with Adidas. Jordan just had the better marketing and shoe designing team.
Do you remember these?
The Adidas EQT Elevation were his first pro-model. Did they have laces? Were they like five pounds each. No thanks.
Compare that to the bright crimson Kobe 10s that will drop tomorrow morning.
These look clean, and we’ve got a couple different flat laces you could put on to make them better. But will these be the last sneakers Kobe puts out as an official Laker?
There hasn’t been a great looking Kobe with a Lakers colorway out in a minute. Back in October there was the “Opening Night” 10s, but these are more purple and black than “true” Lakers colors.
We can assume Kobe will keep putting better and cleaner sneakers with Nike. But it only seems fitting to release out a Kobe in Lakers’ colors before he steps off the court for the last time.
From some of the most insane looking moonboots in sneaker history to sleek futbol-inspired Kobe 10s, the Black Mamba has come along way. Sure he hasn’t always put out something a sneakerhead would wear; that’s Kobe though.
Thanks for the memories.