Over the weekend, Kobe Bryant debuted his newest shoe, the Nike Kobe 9 Elite in a special event at the Westfield Culver City Mall, hosted by Jeff G., The Sports Dude. With a basketball court, a photo booth and a question and answer session with Bryant himself, the event lived up to it’s name, “The Kobe 9 Experience.”
Thousands of fans gathered as Kobe spoke about his new shoe and continued partnership with Nike, a company which has enabled him to “tell [his] story through the product.” Bryant reveals that his decision behind choosing a high-top sneaker originated from watching his friend, Manny Paquiao spar and realizing that Paquiao was still able to have a good range of motion while his foot was “locked in.”
“I said, ‘You know what? I wonder if I can do that with a basketball shoe and then that’s when that idea first started kicking in.”
In the new Masterpiece collection, Bryant pulls inspirations from artists like Michelangelo and Picasso. Kobe talks to the fans about the process behind creating his Nike products and the obsessive attention to detail behind his line. Bryant even tells stories from his childhood, including influences that he continues to use as inspiration in his new products.
As thousands of fans grinned, Bryant left his fans with this:
“We all know the end is coming up, but it’s going to be a hell of a run.”
And, with that, Bryant was able to re-instill a sense of purpose to those Lakers fans who might’ve lost a shred of that Laker faith this season.
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