Kobe Bryant has had an amazing career. After 20 years, the wear and tear is visibly noticeable. The Black Mamba is expected to retire at the end of the season. That means, these Kobe XIs may be his final shoe.
Looking a lot like the Kobe 8, 9, and X, the XI brings another lowcut model. While these have not been confirmed by Nike all sneaker media outlets are claiming these to be the XIs.
Kobe has been pretty healthy and has only missed three of the 15 games. The floating rumor is that Nike is looking to move up the initial January release date. The belief is that if Kobe faces another injury, his career may be completely over. Without Kobe wearing the shoes, the sales have dropped and the hype has slowed.
The other rumor is that Tinker Hatfield was requested to work on this shoe. These do not look like a Tinker creation. They look like a rework and edited version of the shoes from Eric Avar.