Kobe Bryant has admitted that his career is coming to an end. With that, so does his legendary line of basketball shoes. Currently apart of Nike’s Big Four, Nike will lean on LeBron James (13th season), Kevin Durant (8th season), and Kyrie Irving (6th season) after this season.
Beginning his professional career with adidas, the three-time champion (at the time) was unhappy with his signature shoes and left for sneaker free agency. After wearing a variety of brands, Bryant signed an endorsement deal with Nike. Unfortunately, Kobe had a run in with the law and Nike put ideas for his signature line on hold. While he basically modeled and was the face behind the Huarache 2K4s and 2K5s, his first signature shoe with Nike didn’t come until the 2005-06 season. After 11 years, the final model is here.
Will Kobe’s Line Live After the Black Mamba’s Career?
There's no definite answer but we can refer to Jordan Brand. JB kept releasing signature shoes long after Michael Jordan retired. Jordan was last seen in the Air Jordan XVIII as a member of the Washington Wizards. Jordan Brand kept the line going and released sneakers until the XX3. A five-year hiatus followed until they chose to produce XX8.
You can find the Nike Kobe XI when they release in January. This red Achilles Heel pair is slated to drop on January 9th with many colorways coming. As always, Nike iD will feature these for fans to personalize their pairs. They will retail for $200 USD and there will not be an Elite High model.