Nearly 10 years after its release of the Kobe 5 sneaker, Nike plans to honor Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant with a new version of the sneaker. According to Footwear News, the Nike Zoom Kobe 5 Protro version will be released later this month. Although the company hasn’t officially issued a release date, some retailers have the shoe being released on March 26. Nike continues to celebrate the late NBA legend’s legacy and this version of the shoe will feature the purple and gold colors of his Lakers.
Kobe 5 Protros were worn at the NBA All-Star Game
The 2020 NBA All-Star Game held numerous tributes in memory of Kobe Bryant, who was killed, along with his daughter Gianna and seven others, in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26. While there were pregame ceremonies to honor Bryant, players honored the former Lakers star on the court as every player on Team Giannis wore No. 24 in honor of the Black Mamba, while players on Team LeBron donned No. 2 jerseys to honor Gianna.
One player on the court, Anthony Davis of the Los Angeles Lakers, got his hands (or feet) on a pair of the latest version of the sneaker and wore them during the game. Davis, who was traded to the Lakers this offseason.
The design of the sneaker comes in the Lakers’ purple and gold colors and features a snakeskin pattern on a black heel, plus Kobe branding in silver on the tongue and a white midsole.
Kobe Bryant’s shoe sales skyrocketed after his death
When Kobe Bryant died on Jan. 26, 2020, his memorabilia sales spiked dramatically as fans, collectors and dealers were trying to get a piece of his legacy. The same held true for his sneaker sales.
“Pretty much the same day that he passed, everything we had available was just gone,” said Candace Gray, a salesperson at Shoe Palace on Melrose Avenue in mid-city Los Angeles. “That following morning we got hit very hard with a lot of people hoping to grab what they could as far as remembrance,” she said.
Bryant’s celebrity status made him a global figure, which creates a world of collectors and fans hoping to get a hold of vintage shoes, especially a hard-to-find version of the Kobe 1 Protros.
“We had it reselling at $750, and now that I’m looking at it, the closest shoe in this size is a 9-and-a-half going for $12,000,” said Adeel Shams, co-owner of Cool Kicks.
Bryant’s legacy continues to live on
Whether you’re a memorabilia collector, a fan of Bryant or just a sneaker aficionado, the Kobe Bryant legacy should always remain strong.
Bryant has cemented himself as one of the NBA’s all-time greats. He sits in fourth place on the league’s all-time scoring list with 33,643 points behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, and LeBron James.
Bryant was a five-time NBA champion and an 18-time NBA All-Star. Both of his jersey numbers (No. 8 and No. 24) have been retired by the Los Angeles Lakers.