While we wait for Kobe Bryant to step onto the court to play a game (more on this later), he gave people a chance to see what he will be wearing on his feet when he finally does.
At an event in Los Angeles on Wednesday, Kobe unveiled his new signature shoe the Kobe 9 designed by Nike. From the press release:
The KOBE 9 Elite redefines the aesthetics and performance of a basketball shoe and was designed using Nike Flyknit according to Nike’s “Nature Amplified” design ethos, an approach focused on designing for the body in motion and fueled by scientific data and athlete insights.
Designed with Kobe’s tech insights and design inspirations, the KOBE 9 Elite features three key technologies: Nike Flyknit, Flywire and Lunarlon, giving the shoe superior lightweight performance. The innovative design enhances the foot’s natural movements while providing Kobe with strength, durability and speed, plus all the benefits of natural motion where he needs it most.
“I draw inspiration from where I am as a player, as a person, and where my career is at this moment. I’m trying to do something that the majority of people think is impossible to do,” Kobe reflected when asked about the inspiration for his latest shoes and about getting back into the game. “I let my emotions out when I step on the basketball floor, it’s always been my escape, and these shoes will touch a nerve on the court in the same way I do.”
In terms of the design, these shoes definitely have a personal touch with details that draw on Kobe’s recent experiences:
Reverting back to a higher cut for the first time since his third signature shoe in 2007, Kobe’s ninth signature shoe features a knit collar for the proprioceptive feel of a low-top with the support of a mid-top. With the lead colorway dubbed ‘Masterpiece,’ the KOBE 9 Elite uses the intriguing visual patterns allowed by Nike Flyknit to create a piece of art on the upper, nine red embroidered details on the heel give a nod to Kobe’s Achilles sutures. The design on the outsole is based on the pressure mapping of Kobe’s own foot, creating a beautiful pattern while providing traction on court.
The fact that Kobe has gone back to a more traditional high-top (and its extra support) shouldn’t be a surprise with him coming off his achilles injury. That said, Kobe also gave a nod to boxer Manny Pacquiao and the shoes boxers wear for the high support design and credited the materials used (specifically flyknit) for being able to pull off this type of design in a basketball shoe. I, for one, am very much interested in seeing how these feel to play in and what type of support they provide. Based off Kobe’s previous shoes, he seems to have kept a similar aesthetic but gone for an overall design that pushes the envelope forward.
The release for the shoe for sale is February 8th, next year. Pictures are below:
Been looking at DH statistics of 16pts 12rebs for the season. Glad we didn’t give him a max contract. Oh and nice shoes there!
Craig W. says
We certainly tried to give him a max contract. However, I too am now glad we didn’t succeed. Houston fits him better and we will see if he can adjust to being the permanent 2nd or 3rd option on offense, because that is his future lot in life.
The Dane says
…and talking of former Lakers bigs, Bynum getting back to earth with a 6-15 night, paired with 7 rebs, 1 ast and 2 TOs. I hope he will find a steady level, but this is the stuff that would frustrate the Lakers when he was here.
all in life purple&gold says
that’s awesome !!! I like it .. i’m a laker fan .. can’t wait to see kobe play
Renato Afonso says
Er… Those shoes are just ugly! I understand he had the surgery and all, but I really loved those low-cut shoes he had recently. This shoe is just wrong to my eyes in so many levels. Definetly not getting them for this season… I’ll have to buy the KD’s apparently.
Warren Wee Lim says
I agree w/ Renato. Those shoes are so Kobe – love me or hate me! I personally hate it, but since its Kobe’s I would possibly grow into liking it. But I can never like it the way I like Kobe 8s. I think Kobe 8’s remain the perfect shoe.
Looking forward to Kobe getting back out on the Hardwood Floor ..
Unfortunately, not in those Kicks. Not feeling ’em at all.
A better situation for Lakers roster construction would have been for Kobe to make his money from shoes sales worldwide and take less pay ($10-15m) so Lakers would have more flexibility. Now Kobe has taken biggest salary cap share AND pushing his new shoe. Kobe’s salary clearly indicates he put his compensation ahead of winning another championship. Kobe is worth his salary, but not its salary cap percentage.
Tim Duncan comparison is relevant, especially since Duncan makes less money off the court. It can be argued Duncan is more important to Spurs on the court than Kobe — yet Duncan took less.
It is what it is.
Now its up to FO and Kobe to make it work.
Kobe’s contract makes that work more difficult, and it didn’t have to be this way.
Craig W. says
When all is said and done, this is a business and Kobe is certainly not overpaid. Also, the Lakers are not strapped. Better to have a superstar and go forward than no superstar and try to recruit one. I would have preferred he be paid less, but I am not the one negotiating on either side. Frankly, IMO, the players took enough crap in the last CBA that I am not going to complain about whatever they can get for salary – this is the entertainment business, after all.
Rusty Shackleford says
It was a major bummer to hear Kobe is out for tomorrow night’s game. I will be there in the desolate city of Sacramento with my dad to watch the game. Coming off of four days rest I expect to see energy and effort unlike last year when I watched Jason Thompson look like an all-star against the Lakers.
Happy for Andrew Bynum. Averaging about 17 & 8.5 last couple of games, best back to back numbers in sometime. Also glad Dwight is finding his place in Houston. Laker fans don’t need to be small minded like Cleveland fans when LeBron left. L. A. in general & the Lakers in particular just have too many other things going on to maintain that type of bandwagon.
As far as the new CBA and front offices, the playing field has been “evened up a bit”. Money will take a back seat to b-ball & salary cap knowledge.
david h says
darius: nice. free advertising. one tenth of one percent would still reap you a small fortune if you were able to negotiate something other than goodwill.
like fellow laker fans, your heart is in the right place.
david h says
darius: in a related story, dwayne wade comes out with a new shoe: li-ning; manufactured in china.
lead poisoning comes to mind, anyone? anyone?
Those shoes are ugly-pretty. Nice. Definitely marketing to the 25 and under.
T. Rogers says
I don’t think its being small minded. I was one who wanted the Lakers to resign Howard. And I am still upset they got nothing in return for him. Especially since they are clearly not trying to cut costs based on the contract they just gave Kobe.
But now that Howard is about 18 months from back surgery the picture is clearer. Howard is still an excellent front court defender. He is proficient on the glass. But no way is he worth the 5 years/ $100 mil the Lakers wanted to pay him. Make no mistake. I’d still take him on the team. But not at that price. And not for that long. The Lakers would have hated themselves the last two years of that deal. They are already going through that now with Gasol.
I can’t believe the FO lets Kobe wear those shoes. Phil would have never allowed it.
P. Ami says
I have to feel how they sit on my feet, but looks wise, I like em.
david h says
darius: multi-tasking in today’s nba:
bryan S. says
The first multi-sport shoe design. Go dance on the canvas for sixteen rounds or run the hardwood!
Loved the low-cut Kobe8s. I’m a proponent of free running and believe the epidemic of plantar fasciitis in the NBA is the result of wearing non-flexible sole shoes. Nobody had plantar fasciitis in the Chuck Taylor days.
advertising here now…..Hopefully Kobe isnt getting mentally scared of playing…He mentioned(before this week of practice)he would play if this was the playoffs….The last spot of the playoffs may be a one game difference….Would hate to see the Lakers miss it by one game…BTW I fully understand if Kobe is having trouble with the injury mentally…
Craig W. says
T. Rogers, agreed!
Howard is a preeminent defender and solid #2 or #3 player on a team. No way that kind of individual is worth above $100M over 5 years under the current CBA.
Laker fans don’t need to be small minded like Cleveland fans when LeBron left.
James was from near Cleveland, and was the guy who was supposed to end Cleveland’s multisport championship drought, and he is the best player on the planet, so that is totally different than Howard. Add that to James appearing on national TV to announce where he was going…well, I can see folks in CLE being bitter.
With Howard, the vibe is more, “Good riddance, dude.”
No way that kind of individual is worth above $100M over 5 years under the current CBA.
Perhaps not, but again, if you are CBA-focused, you should reconsider your rationalizations of Kobe’s deal. Howard is seven years younger than Kobe is, helps on both ends of the floor, and is actually suited up and playing.
Believing that Kobe’s deal is a good basketball decision requires enormous faith in both him and the FO. That faith may be rewarded, and I hope that it is. But faith is in fact what it is.
Faith is actually what ANY contract is…
Albert J Augustine says
Love these shoe,Kobe is a veteran player an he have achieve alot for the LA Lakers. He has reach a point in his career which his body cannot take alot, however he is still doing his best to return to the court in full effect. Nice shoes Black Mamba ….I 100% supports u…#1 fan
Faith is actually what ANY contract is…
Nah. It is a question of loading the odds in your favor and dealing with the specifics. Sure, LeBron could break his leg tomorrow, but that is not the same thing as making KB the highest-paid player in the NBA in his age 36 and age 37 seasons when he is coming off a ruptured Achilles.
T. Rogers says
I’m not a fan of Kobe’s deal either.
you can be as reasonable about the contract as you want, but ultimately any contract is a gamble. broken legs, lack of interest, dissatisfaction, change in the situation, all those things make even a sure thing a slight gamble. as to Kobe’s contract, knowing the man, it might not be as big a gamble as it seems. i just don’t know, and neither do any other fans. by the end of the year, it might be very clear, though…
i am certainly not saying that anyone is wrong at this point, although i think that it’ll be ok.