As we head into Kobe Bryant’s final NBA All-Star Game, let’s take a look back at the kicks that he has worn during the league’s showcase event, which has covered three decades and three brands (if you count Nike and Jordan as two brands) of sneakers. Yeah, it’s been a long road for the Black Mamba.
Kobe’s “Crazy” Time With adidas
A few years ago, adidas brought back Kobe Bryant’s first signature shoe, the adidas KB8. Even though the concept of bringing back a classic sneaker while the signature athlete is still active is kind of odd, Kobe is a different case. Since Kobe has been with Nike since 2003, there was really not that much opposition getting in the way of bringing them back. Well, except for the name thing. So when the shoe did come back, they renamed it the adidas Crazy 8. No really, Crazy 8. You can’t make this stuff up.
Much like Bryant himself, Kobe’s time with adidas produced some of the most polarizing signature shoes ever made. While the KB8/Crazy 8 is universally well-regarded among sneaker fans, THE KOBE and THE KOBE TWO shoes were the ultimate love-hate shoes. But he also wore a number of gems in the adidas archive that we have either recently come back or that we would love to see a retro down the line.
1997 Schick Rookie Game – adidas EQT Top Ten 2010
1997 NBA Slam Dunk Contest – adidas EQT Elevation
1998 NBA All-Star Game – adidas KB8
2000 NBA All-Star Game – adidas Top Ten Supreme
2001 NBA All-Star Game – adidas THE KOBE Sunshine
2002 NBA All-Star Game – adidas THE KOBE TWO
Nike – Mamba Jumps To The Swoosh
In 2002, Kobe Bryant and adidas parted ways. Since Kobe was a kicks free agent, he took great liberties in wearing well, whatever. One night he could be seen rocking the Air Jordan 11 “Concord” but the next night it might be the AND1 Game Time. From Reebok Questions to Weapons to Air Jordan 8 PEs to everything in between, it was a fun time for fans to guess what the man who would be known as The Black Mamba would rock next.
Kobe would eventually settle with Nike and start one of the most successful signature shoe lines in history, changing the game and making low cut kicks viable in the process. His All-Star Game kicks run with Nike (unofficially) began with the Air Jordan 3 “True Blue” and (officially) would make its way to the revival of the popular Huaraches and eventually his own Nike Zoom Kobe line.
2003 NBA All-Star Game – Air Jordan 3 True Blue
2004 NBA All-Star Game – Nike Air Zoom Huarache 2K4 All-Star
2005 NBA All-Star Game – Nike Air Zoom Huarache 2K5 All-Star
2006 NBA All-Star Game – Nike Zoom Kobe 1 All-Star
2007 Playstation Skills Challenge – Nike Zoom Kobe 2 Lakers
2007 NBA All-Star Game – Nike Zoom Kobe 2 All-Star
2008 NBA All-Star Game – Nike Zoom Kobe 3 All-Star
2009 NBA All-Star Game – Nike Zoom Kobe 4 All-Star
2010 Sprite Slam Dunk Contest – Nike Zoom Kobe 5 Bruce Lee (?)
2010 NBA All-Star Game (Did Not Play) – Nike Zoom Kobe 5 All-Star
2011 NBA All-Star Game – Nike Zoom Kobe 6 All-Star
2012 NBA All-Star Game – Nike Zoom Kobe 7 Galaxy
2013 NBA All-Star Game – Nike Kobe 8 Area 72
2014 NBA All-Star Game – Nike Kobe 9 Elite Maestro (Kobe didn’t play but DeMar DeRozan wore them)
2015 NBA All-Star Game – Nike Kobe X Zoom City (Did Not Play)
2016 NBA All-Star Game – Nike Kobe 11 All-Star
Pictures courtesy of AllSport/Getty Images/The Associated Press/NBA Entertainment. Shoe pictures courtesy of eBay/Nike.