February 4th, 2014 by John Kim
Kobe Bryant has been compared to one of his heroes since he entered the NBA at the tender age of 18. It has proven entirely valid to debate his achievements alongside Michael Jordan’s: titles, points, Olympic golds – you name it, these two of the greatest shooting guards ever are right there at the top of the list. Jordan’s sneaker line is of course unable to be surpassed, but this is another area where Kobe has put himself into that upper echelon.
One thing Air Jordans and Kobes (by both adidas and Nike) have in common is that they represent a scoring assassin so special, companies staked the culmination of their research and development process on a single luminary performer. Kobe in particular has served as the face of technical innovation across his entire career. The first ever Flyknit basketball shoe has his initials woven into its heel, so let’s look back into each of Kobe’s innovations leading up to this point.