After being signed to Adidas for his first handful of years in the NBA, Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant ultimately made the jump to Nike, with whom he remains. Bryant annually had a new signature shoe release during his playing career and shifted to retro — or protro models — in retirement.
The process of re-releasing sneakers from Bryant’s illustrious line with Nike entailed upgrading them with modern technology. To this point Nike has returned the Kobe 1, Kobe 4 and Kobe 5 under the Protro direction.
“Protro is about evolution and improving on things that were,” Bryant said at the time of announcing his retro line.
“I wanted to build a business that wasn’t just based on things I have done in the past. It is important that the brand stands for performance and that everything we do is innovative, even if we are releasing shoes from the past they still must be built on performance.”
Although a release date has not been set, anticipation continues to build for the Nike Kobe 5 protro ‘Bruce Lee.’ Vanessa Bryant recently shared a look at the beloved pair, along with a photo of the alternate version that also is likely to release this summer.
Vanessa Bryant shared a look at the Kobe 5 protro “Bruce Lee” and alternate version that are expected to release this summer. pic.twitter.com/sSrQ30oUbg
— Matthew Moreno (@MMoreno1015) July 16, 2020
Bryant first made the Bruce Lee theme popular in 2010 with the original release of the Nike Zoom Kobe V. The yellow upper and laces were an ode to the bodysuit Lee wore in “The Game of Death,” while red marks duplicated the scratches Lee took while fighting in “Enter the Dragon.”
Bruce Lee theme extends to Kyrie Irving
Bryant’s ‘Bruce Lee’ Kobe 5 is not only one of the more revered pair of shoes from a signature line, it served as inspiration for Kyrie Irving. The color scheme was the basis for one release of the Nike Kyrie 3.
In January of this year, photos of a red-based Nike Kyrie 6 with yellow scratch marks surfaced, and so too did a predominantly white version.
That Irving would take from Bryant’s signature line to incorporate with his sneakers is of little surprise. Irving regularly spoke about his admiration for Bryant, and he continued doing so in the wake of the Lakers’ legend’s tragic death.
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