Kobe Bryant is a man of culture and sophistication. That much is evident in the kicks that he wears. Instead of trying reinvent a classic that already works, he refines what he already feels is the pinnacle – his shoes – and iterates upon that year after year. He believes that once he himself is satisfied, then the people will follow. That is why despite the aesthetic similarities between his signature shoes, we buy into it because he believes in it. It’s the circle of “buying the same shoes… again.”
Bryant also makes no bones about who has influenced him through the years. He loves the fine arts, reads comic books and takes in a grindhouse flick because he is a eternally curious person. One of those influences is Bruce Lee, the legendary martial artist/actor. For the Nike Zoom Kobe 5, the “Bruce Lee” channels the iconic jumpsuit that Lee wore when he faced off against the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in “Game Of Death” along with the three cuts on the right shoe that represent the memorable hits he took in “Enter The Dragon.”
The Nike Kobe 9 EM “University Gold” (which some are calling “Kung-Fu” so as to avoid the dreaded “giving a shoe the same nickname as another one just because they’re kinda have the same colors” scenario) does not have the obvious homages to Lee but it is hard not to look at the Kobe 9 – especially with those red stitches on the heel – and not think of the Nike Zoom Kobe 5. So let’s get it out on in the open and see what the people think. Check out the images below and let us know what you think in the comments as to which one of these you would rock or if you already have the Kobe 5 and think the Kobe 9 EM can live up to its high standards.
Nike Zoom Kobe 5 “Bruce Lee”
Nike Kobe 9 EM “University Gold”