Nike's ''Mamba Week'' Is The Icing On The Cake To Mark Kobe's Birthday

Nike are certainly ensuring that Bryant's memory and legacy will prevail
09:00, 18 Aug 2020

August 23 should have been Kobe Bryant’s 42nd birthday. Instead, due to the tragedy of January, the world of sport has to find fitting ways to mark it without the Los Angeles Laker present.

Nike and Bryant enjoyed a beautiful 17-year relationship that provided basketball fans with some of the most desirable sportswear ever available. In tribute and in honour of the late great American’s birthday, Nike have now helped initiate the first-ever ‘Mamba Week’, taking the title from the Lakers’ legend self-adopted moniker.

SM InstaNike Kobe Mamba 04jpg

The Nike Foundation will be making a $1 million USD donation to the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation in memory of Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, who was beside her father in the helicopter crash on January 26. 

Nike will then present five takes on the Kobe 5 Protro kicks. There will first be three in-line styles and two more will then be produced alongside West Coast-based boutique and sneaker retail imprint UNDEFEATED.

SM InstaNike Kobe Mamba 03jpg

Arguably most eye-catching, in adherence with the Mamba nickname, a special snakeskin-printed jersey that combines his two famous west-coast numbers, #8 and #24. Poignantly, the jersey was originally co-designed by Kobe himself in 2017.

But onto the sizzling shoewear. First up is the “Big Stage” range, which incorporates a black, white and gold colour scheme with sublime lasered detailing, paying homage to Kobe’s fifth NBA championship with the Lakers in 2010. Then there’s the “5x Champion,” that uses the tri-colour a purple, gold and black scheme that harks back to the bespoke jackets Jeff Hamilton crafted for Kobe after his second and third Larry O’Brien Trophies. The third, perhaps most interestingly, reflects the Mamba/ Snake theme once again, with the “Girls EYBL,” a scaly green, gold and white style inspired by Greek mythology’s Medusa - the Gorgon who had snakes instead of hair and could turn people to stone if they looked upon her face.

SM InstaNike Kobe Mamba 01jpg

Onto the UNDEFEATED,  there’s the “What If” pack, recalling how twelve (TWELVE!) teams passed on Bryant in the 1996 NBA Draft, and then the franchise that selected him - the Charlotte Hornets - immediately let him go to California. The ‘hypothetical’ motif brings together the colours of the 12 sides that missed out on the chance to select the 18 x All Star.  The second style takes on the scheme of the team in which Bryant had the briefest of dalliances, the Hornets, with white and teal. Gold is a major theme to both,  in order to highlight Bryant’s magnificent five championship rings across his almost peerless two decades in the game.

SM InstaNike Kobe Mamba 02jpg

Nike Basketball’s Mamba Week will begin on Kobe Bryant’s birthday on August 23 with the release of the “Big Stage”, with both the “5x Champion” and special jersey following the next day. August 24. UNDEFEATED’s “What If” pack will be available on August 27 and the “Girls EYBL” on August 29. All items will be available on Nike SNKRS.

Bryant may have gone but Nike are certainly ensuring that his memory and legacy prevail.


SM InstaNike Kobe Mamba 05jpg
SM InstaNike Kobe Mamba 06jpg
Suggested Searches:
The Sportsman
Manchester United
Manchester City
Premier League
Sportsman HQ
72-76 Cross St
Manchester M2 4JG
We will not ask you to provide any personal information when using The Sportsman website. You may see advertisement banners on the site, and if you choose to visit those websites, you will accept the terms and conditions and privacy policy applicable to those websites. The link below directs you to our Group Privacy Policy, and our Data Protection Officer can be contacted by email at: [email protected]

All original material is Copyright © 2019 by The Sportsman Communications Ltd.
Other material is copyright their respective owners.