Two years after Kobe Bryant played his final game for the Los Angeles Lakers, Nike is commemorating the anniversary with the release of the Nike Kobe 1 Protro ‘Mamba Day,’ on Friday, April 13.
The black upper and gold swoosh is identical to the color scheme of the final shoe Bryant wore as he electrified the Staples Center crowd to the tune of 60 points. Further tying in that memorable night, the insoles of the ‘Mamba Day’ Protro 1 depict Bryant walking off the floor for the final time.
Moreover, a small patch with Roman numerals, XX, is on each tongue of the shoe as a ode to the 20 seasons Bryant played.
Like he did with the Nike Kobe A.D. NXT 360 (also releasing Friday), Toronto Raptors All-Star DeMar DeRozan debuted the ‘Mamba Day’ Kobe Protro.
While Nike twice re-released previous Bryant signature shoes while he was still playing for the Lakers, first with the Prelude Pack, then the Fade to Black Pack, the Kobe 1 Protro represents a dedication to a complete retro line for the five-time champion.
But true to form with how he approached his playing career, Bryant isn’t following in the footsteps of the other retro lines, such as what’s seen with Air Jordan. Instead, he and Nike have retooled the original Zoom Kobe 1.
The model, which originally released in 2005, has been updated with technology found in today’s basketball shoes. Nike previously re-released the black/maize colorway that debuted 13 years ago, which sold out instantly in February.
Aesthetically, the shoe is a near match to its predecessor, but is slightly lighter in weight and of course features the aforementioned newer technology.