August 1, 2012 BY John Kim / 2
Once Nike officially added Kobe Bryant to its roster of signature athletes in 2003, you’d think a Kobe shoe would be produced immediately. In truth, it took Nike a while to put Kobe Bryant “out there” with his first official signature shoe in light of the scandal that surfaced in the Summer of 2003, but the Swoosh stuck by it’s superstar’s side and finally unveiled the Air Zoom Kobe 1 in February of 2006. While Kobe did rock the Huarache 2k4 and 2k5 with his bold new Shozoku logo, the Air Zoom Kobe 1 is the first official signature shoe for the Mamba and based on the quick sales of the inline Black/Yellow colorway, it was clear that the debut was long-awaited.
What we don’t see much from the earlier Kobe models are Player Exclusives, but we’ve stumbled upon a lot of not one, but three outstanding made-for-Kobe editions of the Air Zoom Kobe 1; the first features a white patent leather upper with ’24’ stitched on the heel, another remixes the Lakers colors with a purple nubuck upper and yellow Avar-signature outrigger, and the third introduces the ‘Kobe’ stitch-logo with a gradient on the Swoosh. A full shot of all three Player Exclusives are right ahead, so take a trip down memory lane to 2006 and the Air Zoom Kobe 1 by checking ‘em out below, and if you’re desperate to add these to your Zoom Kobe collection, click through to the listing from playerexclusiveinc on eBay.