Kobe Bryant’s death was one year ago today. The truth is, the loss of his life and the eight other souls on that ill-fated helicopter ride is just a small portion of the never-ending influx of tragedy that is the year 2020. Kobe Bryant’s life was not worth more or less than any of the eight victims on that January 26th accident, let alone the hundreds of thousands that perished at the hands of COVID-19, natural disasters, police brutality, and other dark events. However, it’s undeniable that Kobe has left a lasting mark in the basketball, sports, and sneaker community, so we’d like to take this brief time to honor his legacy one year after his passing.
Please continue below to see some of our favorite moments of Kobe’s career, and how his legacy has impacted generations after.
While the Kobe VI was the focal point of this hero vs. villain plotline, the sneaker spotlight was ever so slightly stolen by Kanye as he and Nike decided to tease the Air Yeezy 2.
The Kobe VI has been back in the spotlight as of late as Nike has released the Protro version in the famed “Grinch” colorway. More Kobe VI Protro releases will be scheduled throughout 2021.
“I thought I was famous until I got to China with Kobe.” – LeBron James on Kobe Bryant at the 2008 Beijing Olympics
During Kobe Bryant’s farewell tour in 2016, the retiring legend blessed the Suns shooting guard with an autographed pair of Kobe 10s with a simple message – “Be Legendary”. Then a rookie, Booker – who exclusively wears Nike Kobe footwear – began writing that short proverb on all of his shoes.
Not long after Kobe’s untimely passing, @dbook had that same message, in the same handwriting, tattooed on his arm by @jonboytattoo.
We all knew Michael and Kobe were close, but the true nature of that unbreakable bond wasn’t revealed until Michael’s tearful eulogy for his “little brother” on February 24th, 2020.
The public response to the sneaker upon its release later that year was unmatched in its polarity; the shoe was equally lauded for its confident Audi-inspired design and ridiculed for its awkward simplicity. Despite Kobe leaving the brand just a few years after its release, THE KOBE will always be remembered as one of adidas’ most pivotal moments in its basketball brand.
Kobe Bryant: 8/23/78 – ♾️
Gigi Bryant: 5/1/06 – ♾️