The basketball world has moved onto great things, but we still mourn the death of Kobe Bryant. Every game is a reminder of his love, the intensity and sheer will he displayed in the tensest moments of the game. Today would’ve been his 42nd birthday and today, that legacy receives reflection.
Kobe was a big part of the Nike family and everything that makes up Los Angeles Lakers basketball. It’s no surprise that the apparel juggernaut and legendary franchise continues to honor his legacy. Orange County officials named August 24th “Kobe Day.” Nike will follow suit and add to the tribute by releasing some exclusive gear to fans from August 23rd to August 30th. They’re dubbing it “Mamba Week”.
Nike will honor Kobe Bryant and celebrate #MambaWeek beginning Aug. 23. Several Kobe signature products will be released and the Nike Foundation is making a $1M donation to the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation, per @NickDePaula. 🙏🐍 pic.twitter.com/4xgrYCevsh
— Nice Kicks (@nicekicks) August 12, 2020
Like most major releases, it’s going to be a task trying to snag any of Kobe memorabilia set to hit the market. Sneaker and merchandise culture has evolved into a limited shop til you drop with the need for automated purchasing bots and big funds. The unfortunate passing of Kobe has sent a massive spike through the sneaker community raising the price for his signature from an average of $200 per to $1,000 per pair via BusinessInsider.com.
Hoping there will be a surplus seems like wishful thinking. Hypebeasts will be salivating at the chance to hoard as many pairs as possible with profits coming on the backend. The resell market is a joke for kicks.
But wouldn’t it be dope if Nike made enough for everybody? Kobe’s reach stretches across corners of the world that we could never imagine. Sometimes these sects of fans miss out on the opportunity to don his kicks because of our need for exclusivity. To expect this to happen is wishful thinking. Fans will still get the opportunity to see the Lakers exemplify the legacy of the Black Mamba where they will wear the patented snakeskin black jerseys. They will don the Black Mamba jerseys on Kobe Day. Nike also plans to release both the #8 and #24 via the SNKRS app at 10AM EST/7AM PST on Monday.
If the Lakers advance past the first round of the NBA playoffs, they plan to wear the Black Mamba-inspired Lakers City Edition uniform, per @BA_Turner.
The jersey features a faux-snakeskin print. pic.twitter.com/KGSprRzid1
— Front Office Sports (@frntofficesport) August 17, 2020
On his birthday today and beyond this week, it’ll be full of memories that are engraved in our brains and some hearts. As someone that can remember nearly all Kobe’s dark and lighter moments, I can tell you that seeing all the love for him still amazes me. The murals. The stories. The epic highlights. At every turn, there is something that shows us that legends never die and they will forever be here. As we all prepare to try our luck with shoes and jerseys or catch a glimpse of tomorrow’s game – here’s to a man that gave us 20 years of blood, sweat and tears. May he rest in peace.