So the big news in the sneaker world today is the reveal (well, in an official capacity) of the Nike Kobe 9 EM “Philippines,” a new colorway that takes its design cues from a banig, a handwoven mat that is popular in most Philippine homes as well as residences in the West Covina, Eagle Rock and Cerritos area. Much like last year’s Nike Kobe 8 PP series, a collection of team bank colorways that represented several major colleges in the Philippines, these new Kobes appear to be a timed-exclusive that Filipinos (and those who live in the US with relatives back home… hint, hint…) will get to enjoy for the time being. So now you’re probably wondering how this basketball-crazed country that is known nowadays more for being the home of Manny Pacquiao got bragging rights over other countries two years in a row? Well, it started with adidas…
Long before he was the Black Mamba and winning championships with the Lakers, Kobe Bryant was doing Asian tours with adidas during the off-season. One of the places that stood out for him was the Philippines; those early trips really ingratiated him (it helps that he learned how to do the Tinikling fast) with the people so much so that when he came back years later as a Nike guy with multiple championships in hand, it was like a conquering hero coming back home. Hell, there are jeepneys – vehicles used for public transportation – that are practicality murals for the Black Mamba.
Nike knows how much the Philippine people love their basketball and Kobe, so it only makes sense to at least give them timed exclusivity on certain releases. Also, there is now a shoe out there that was inspired by a Philippine floor mat. That’s kind of awesome.
Anyways, for today’s Clash, we are pitting the Nike Kobe 9 EM “Philippines” against the Nike Kobe 8 PP, which also includes some player exclusives that you might not be aware and are pretty cool as well.
Nike Kobe 9 EM “Philippines”
Nike Kobe 8 PP