After twenty years, two sneaker brands, and five rings, the end is nearing for Kobe Bean Bryant. With 20 seasons in the league, the man has spent more time in the NBA than out of it. A 17-time All-Star, the man led his era. Allen Iverson, Tracy McGrady, and Kevin Garnett were huge for the league and get an honorable mention but this era belongs to Kobe.
After the 2002 season, Kobe was unhappy with adidas and chose to leave the Three Stripes. In order to get out of the contract, Kobe had to pay a reported $8 million. The buyout included a stipulations like the one that stopped Kobe's ability to sign with another brand until 2003. This is considered his sneaker free agency. In that time, he wore a variety of kicks from Nike Air Force 1s to And1s to even Converse Weapons. Most remember Kobe rocking Jordans from True Blue 3s to the Concord XIs. After that, he chose to sign with Nike.
Then came the sexual assault trial in Colorado. His deals with McDonald's and Nutella expired. Nike was smart to support Kobe but keep their distance at the same time. In 2004, they dropped the Huarache 2K4 and that was practically Kobe's first signature model. The 2K5 came next and the popularity continued to rise. In 2006, the Kobe I came out and that's when he began to explode as an individual. Already having three rings, his teammates were below par and Kobe felt the need to carry the team. He dropped 81 on the Toronto Raptors. He also had 62 points in three quarters, four 50-point games, and twenty one 40-point games. No matter what happened off court, he wanted the world to know he was the greatest player anytime he stepped onto a court. The journey is nearing the end.
In October, Bryant will return from another season ending injury and play under the bright lights of Los Angeles. The Kobe X will remain on his feet until the XI debut in January. According to Dino Hatfield of BaltSneakerShow, the Kobe XI will first come out in a University Red:
Then a Grade School black/multicolor colorway is dropping for the small feet:
Kobe 11 debuts 1/9/2016— Dino Hatfield (@BALTsneakerShow) July 22, 2015
The Lakers colorway will drop in February:
Black/multicolor Kobe 11 GS exclusive 1/23/2016— Dino Hatfield (@BALTsneakerShow) July 23, 2015
Then the Easter Collection is dropping for Nike's Big 4 in March:
Lakers Kobe 11. 2/27/2016— Dino Hatfield (@BALTsneakerShow) July 22, 2015
Right now there are no photos and details on the Kobe. We can assume Flyknit is coming but nothing is concrete at this time.
Kyrie, Lebron, Kobe, KD Easter release is 3/25/2016 of course.— Dino Hatfield (@BALTsneakerShow) July 23, 2015