Last month, the estate of Kobe Bryant declined to renew its contract with Nike and ended a relationship that dates back to 2003. While this means the end of his sneaker line, at least one release already in the works will still go ahead as planned.
Undefeated has announced its “Hall of Fame” makeup for the Kobe 5 Protro will release this week, and it could possibly be one of the last Nike Kobe sneakers ever released. The gilded sneakers celebrate Bryant’s career ahead of his induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame and include the “10” he wore for the Olympics in addition to the “8” and “24” from his time in the NBA.
Images of the shoe first released last fall, leading sneakerheads to believe the release was imminent. But with the induction slated for this Friday, May 14, the timing couldn’t be better.
All the deets — Lakers purple accents adorn the gold Kobe 5 Protro, with the left Swooshes bearing Bryant’s numbers featuring a purple to red gradient. Meanwhile the gold upper utilizes a snakeskin texture as a nod to Bryant’s “Mamba” nickname. But the best detail of all may just be the right insole, which spells out some of his numerous accomplishments including his championships and MVP awards.
The Protro series, which will end up being short lived, was coined by Bryant himself and refers to his sneakers reissued with performance upgrades. Initially, he said wasn’t on board with the idea of re-releasing signatures from throughout his career because it didn’t “fit right with everything I stood for.” Perhaps looking back didn’t jibe with the Mamba mentality, but his decision to sign off on the reissues has had particular significance in giving fans another shot at wearing his sneakers after his unexpected death.
Try your luck this week — Undefeated will release its Kobe 5 Protro through its own website this Wednesday, May 12. To get a pair, you just have to enter the raffle today between 2:24 pm. and 4:24 p.m. PST. (another nod to the “24” Bryant wore for the latter half of his career).
Should you decide not to try your luck, it’s possible you don’t have another shot at a Nike Kobe sneaker again.