Retired Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant might not be playing in the NBA anymore, but his impact can still be seen around the league every night when players like Isaiah Thomas and DeMar DeRozan wear his iconic Nike sneakers.
According to Thomas, that’s a very intentional choice on the part of the two high-scoring guards. Bryant, who publicly challenged DeRozan and Thomas to reach new heights in their games when he debuted his latest sneakers, has also studied film with Thomas in the past.
During an appearance on Complex’s “Sneaker Shopping,” Thomas revealed that those study sessions aren’t the only way Bryant has helped the diminuative All-Star. He does it every day by putting out the “perfect” shoes for Thomas:
“Kobe is my favorite player of all-time. His sneakers, especially when he went low-top, it fit my game. I’m a small guy who has to move and cut, and the low-tops are perfect for that. Gotta support the best player to ever play.”
“I’m Team Kobe, so me and DeMar DeRozan are the ones keeping his shoe collection going. Going strong at that.”
So dedicated is Thomas to keeping that legacy going that he also said his own signature shoe, should he ever get one, would be inspired by Bryant’s:
“I don’t know what mine would look like, honestly. I know it would be a low-top, though. I’m a low-top type of guy. I like the feel of low-tops, how light they are. If I ever do get a sig, it would be a low-top. Something similar to the Kobe’s.”
It seems like much like Michael Jordan before him, Bryant has created the type of sneaker legacy that future players will be inspired to chase.
Whether it’s Thomas, DeRozan or another player, eventually a sneaker successor to Bryant will appear and inspire the next generation down a similar path.
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