March 11, 2014 BY Aaron Kr. / 26
When it comes to sports, perfection is an elusive prize, and whether you achieve it or not, it’s that undying pursuit of perfection that drives players to become truly great. You can make the argument that Kobe Bryant has come as close to mastering the game of basketball as anyone who’s ever played it. Years of hard work, determination, and intense focus have resulted in a legendary on-court run highlighted by five NBA Championships, two Olympic gold medals, and league MVP honors, and despite all that success, Kobe is still as hungry as ever. Although injuries have derailed the better part of the last two seasons, knowing how hard he’s ready and willing to push himself towards greatness, you can never count Kobe out.
The same can be said for his shoes. Even though Bryant has missed considerable time on the court as of late, his Nike signature sneaker line hasn’t missed a beat. After a strong run by the Kobe 8, last December, Nike dropped jaws around the world with the introduction of the ninth chapter in the series. Prior to the Kobe 9, the past five Kobe models all featured a low ankle cut that had come to be seen as a steadfast staple of the line, so when Eric Avar and company decided it was time to switch things up, there was nothing subtle at all about the transition.
The Kobe 9 Elite shattered the preconceived notions of what to expect from a Kobe shoe thanks to its super high ankle design and the debut of Flyknit technology on a Nike Basketball shoe. Also equipped with Flywire cables, a carbon fiber heel counter and Lunarlon cushioning, the shoe’s dynamic appearance is achieved through some of the most progressive and innovative performance problem-solving to ever come out of Beaverton. Form and function have come together as one, and the result is not only a groundbreaking basketball shoe, but a triumphant work of art that will no doubt inspire the future of the Swoosh legacy.
To properly usher in the new model, Nike treated the Kobe 9 as the artistic achievement that it is, unveiling the “Masterpiece” colorway at the Museum of Contemporary Art in LA, followed a special three-shoe collection based on some of the artistic and cultural inspirations behind Kobe’s unique approach to life and basketball. Now that the “Inspiration” and “Perspective” installments have released to the public, the final leg of the trio is ready for its time in the spotlight. Offering one of the most sophisticated and visually stunning Nike colorways ever seen, the Kobe 9 Elite “Detail” is all set to release on March 22nd, but before it does, we’ve got an in-depth look at some of its finer points in the pages ahead.