Relive Kobe’s legacy via his sneaker collaborations

Relive Kobe’s legacy via his sneaker collaborations

Kobe’s sneaker history spans two brands and 24 years. Relive the milestone moments each collab immortalizes.

Kobe's Sneaker History: Kobe Bryant's Legacy Told Through His SneakersNoah Graham via Getty Images

Kobe Bryant was in a league of his own. Beyond being one of the youngest players to enter the NBA and attaining a three-peat alongside four NBA Championship titles throughout his career, Bryant left a lasting impression on his teammates, opponents and fans. With the new Nike Kobe 6 Protro All-Star rumored to drop on March 15, we decided to take a look back at Kobe’s sneaker history and relive the milestone moments that coincided with the drop of some of these collabs.

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Kobe's Sneaker History: Kobe Bryant's Legacy Told Through His Sneakers

The Nike Kobe 6 Protro All-Star is rumored to drop on March 15. 

Model: Adidas EQT Elevation

Year: 1996 – 1997

Own it: StockX

Kobe's Sneaker History: Kobe Bryant's Legacy Told Through His Sneakers

Choosing to skip college for the NBA, a fresh-faced 18-year-old Kobe Bryant joins the Charlotte Hornets as the 13th pick of the 1996 draft. He is later traded to the Lakers and became the youngest player in the NBA.

 

Model: Kobe Bryant x Adidas KB8

Year: 1997 – 1998

Kobe's Sneaker History: Kobe Bryant's Legacy Told Through His Sneakers

Bryant quickly earned his stripes (literally) with the Lakers and was selected for ’97-’98 season’s All-Star Game, becoming the youngest All-Star at the time.

 

Model: Kobe Bryant x Adidas KB8II

Year: 1998 – 1999

Own it: StockX

Kobe's Sneaker History: Kobe Bryant's Legacy Told Through His Sneakers

 

Kobe Bryant continues to earn more praise, even being equated to Michael Jordan in a 1998 Rolling Stones article titled “Kobe Bryant: Teenager of the Year”.

 

Model: Kobe Bryant x Adidas KB8III

Year: 1999 – 2000

Kobe's Sneaker History: Kobe Bryant's Legacy Told Through His Sneakers

 

After a rough start with Shaquille O’Neal, the entrant of Phil Jackson as the new coach of the Lakers improved their dynamic and gameplay. They would go on to win an NBA championship, the first for Bryant.

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Model: Kobe Bryant x Adidas KOBE

Year: 2000 – 2001

Own it: StockX

Kobe's Sneaker History: Kobe Bryant's Legacy Told Through His Sneakers

Kobe and the Lakers continue their winning streak with another NBA Championship win against the Philadelphia 76ers.

 

Model: Kobe Bryant x Adidas Kobe Two

Year: 2001 – 2002

Own it: StockX

Kobe's Sneaker History: Kobe Bryant's Legacy Told Through His Sneakers

After beating the New Jersey Nets, Kobe earns a three-peat after winning his third NBA Championship at the age of 23.

 

Model: Nike Zoom Air Huarache 2K4

Year: 2003 – 2004

Own it: StockX | Stadium Goods

Kobe's Sneaker History: Kobe Bryant's Legacy Told Through His Sneakers

Kobe leaves Adidas and became a free agent, during which he rocked sneakers from Nike and Jordan brand. In that same year, Bryant misses out on a fourth consecutive NBA championship after losing to the Boston Celtics in the second round of the playoffs.

 

Model: Nike Air Zoom Huarache 2k5

Year: 2004 – 2005

Own it: StockX

Kobe's Sneaker History: Kobe Bryant's Legacy Told Through His Sneakers

After the loss in 2004, Shaq was traded out of the Lakers and Bryant took over leadership. Bryant would lead the 2004 -2005 NBA season in scoring.

 

Model: Nike Kobe I

Year: 2005 – 2006

Own it: StockX | Farfetch | Stadium Goods

Kobe's Sneaker History: Kobe Bryant's Legacy Told Through His Sneakers

During the 2005 to 2006 season, Kobe would earn his first scoring title averaging 35.4 points per game and set the highest scoring output in NBA History by scoring 81 points against the Toronto Raptors.

 

Model: Nike Zoom Kobe II

Year: 2006 – 2007

Own it: StockX | Stadium Goods

Kobe's Sneaker History: Kobe Bryant's Legacy Told Through His Sneakers

On the sneaker front, the Nike Zoom Kobe II was the first sneaker Kobe had a hand in designing. This cause development of the sneaker to stretch over 18 months.

 

Model: Nike Zoom Kobe III

Year: 2007 – 2008

Own it: StockX | Stadium Goods

Kobe's Sneaker History: Kobe Bryant's Legacy Told Through His Sneakers

In 2008, Kobe earned his first MVP title and represented the USA at the Beijing Olympics, where he earned a gold medal.

 

Model: Nike Zoom Kobe IV

Year: 2008 – 2009

Own it: StockX | Farfetch | Stadium Goods

Kobe's Sneaker History: Kobe Bryant's Legacy Told Through His Sneakers

Kobe clenched his fourth NBA title in 2009, was named the Finals MVP and averaged a 32.4 scoring average throughout the ’08 – ’09 season.

 

Model: Nike Zoom Kobe V

Year: 2009 – 2010

Own it: StockX | Farfetch | Stadium Goods

Kobe's Sneaker History: Kobe Bryant's Legacy Told Through His Sneakers

Kobe would lead the Lakers to their third straight Western Conference Championship and earn the title of Finals MVP after defeating the Boston Celtics.

More on the Kobe 5 Protro: A Nike Zoom Kobe 5 Protro with Lakers team colors is on the way!

 

Model: Nike Zoom Kobe VI

Year: 2010 – 2011

Own it: StockX | Farfetch | Stadium Goods

Kobe's Sneaker History: Kobe Bryant's Legacy Told Through His Sneakers

Kobe and the Lakers scored the Pacific division title before losing to the Dallas Mavericks in the second round of the Playoffs.

More on the Kobe 6 Protro Grinch: Kobe 6 Protro Grinch returns in time for Christmas

 

Model: Nike Zoom Kobe VII

Year: 2011 – 2012

Own it: StockX | Farfetch | Stadium Goods

Kobe's Sneaker History: Kobe Bryant's Legacy Told Through His Sneakers

Kobe would lead the Lakers to earn their 33rd Pacific Division title but would lose to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the playoffs.

 

Model: Nike Zoom Kobe VIII

Year: 2012 – 2013

Own it: StockX | Farfetch | Stadium Goods

Kobe's Sneaker History: Kobe Bryant's Legacy Told Through His Sneakers

Kobe and The Lakers qualified for the Playoffs for the ’12 -’13 season. Kobe’s season would end early after suffering a torn Achilles tendon in his 80th game of the season and miss the rest of the season.

 

Model: Nike Kobe IX

Year: 2013 – 2014

Own it: StockX | Farfetch | Stadium Goods

Kobe's Sneaker History: Kobe Bryant's Legacy Told Through His Sneakers

Kobe returned to the NBA in 2013 only to fracture his knee cap after six games. Regrettably, he would once again miss the rest of the season.

 

Model: Nike Kobe X

Year: 2014 – 2015

Own it: StockX | Farfetch | Stadium Goods

Kobe's Sneaker History: Kobe Bryant's Legacy Told Through His Sneakers

The injury riddles Kobe returned early in the ’14 -’15 season, but quickly tore his rotator cuff. He was out of commission again.

 

Model: Nike Kobe 11

Year: 2015 – 2016

Own it: StockX | Farfetch | Stadium Goods

Kobe's Sneaker History: Kobe Bryant's Legacy Told Through His Sneakers

Kobe Bryant finally makes a full return to the NBA and plays a full season, but it was clear his injuries took its toll. He would go on to announce his retirement from the NBA in 2016.

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Model: Nike Kobe AD

Year: 2016 – 2017

Own it: StockX | Stadium Goods

Kobe's Sneaker History: Kobe Bryant's Legacy Told Through His Sneakers

 

In 2017, an animated short film based on Kobe’s poem titled “Dear Basketball” wins the Academy Award for best short animated film.

  

Model: Nike Kobe NXT

Year: 2017

Own it: StockX | Farfetch | Stadium Goods

Kobe's Sneaker History: Kobe Bryant's Legacy Told Through His Sneakers

 

Model: Nike Kobe NXT 360

Year: 2018

Own it: StockX | Farfetch | Stadium Goods

Kobe's Sneaker History: Kobe Bryant's Legacy Told Through His Sneakers

 

Kobe Bryant published a book titled The Mamba Mentality: How I Play, which detailed “Mamba Mentality” – his approach to basketball and, in extension, life. That same year, Kobe and Nike would introduce the concept of a protro with a refreshed Kobe 1.

 

Model: Nike Kobe NXT FastFit FF

Year: 2019

Own it: StockX | Farfetch | Stadium Goods

Kobe's Sneaker History: Kobe Bryant's Legacy Told Through His Sneakers

 

Model: Nike Kobe NXT Mamba Fury

Year: 2020

Own it: Farfetch | Stadium Goods

Kobe's Sneaker History: Kobe Bryant's Legacy Told Through His Sneakers

On January 26, 2020, Kobe Bryant along with his 13-year-old daughter and a group of travelers perished in a helicopter crash.

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