When the Los Angeles Lakers take the floor for their regular season opener against the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday, Kyle Kuzma will be wearing a customized pair Kobe ADs designed by the 23-year-old.
Kuzma was one of nine NBA and WNBA rookies and sophomores to have the opportunity to have a custom design session with NikeiD at Nike’s World Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon in September.
The session took place just after the NBA announced a rule change removing all color restrictions on footwear so the players, a group that included Collin Sexton, De’Aaron Fox. Frank Ntilikina, Jayson Tatum, Jordan Bell, Luka Doncic, Kelsey Mitchell and Kelsey Plum, were allowed to get as wild as they wanted.
Despite this, Kuzma decided to play it safe and went with the iconic purple and gold for his first-ever PEs, the NikeiD KOBE AD “Kuzz Kontrol.” The results are flames, pure flames.
Kuzma took to Twitter to show he agrees with my assessment:
October 15, 2018
It’s no secret Kuzma is a huge fan of Kobe Bryant’s, and as a result is also a known fan of his shoes. Like any Nike sponsored athlete, Kuzma has tried out the LeBron’s, the KD’s and the PG’s, but he always goes back to the Kobe’s.
That could have something to do with the fact that Bryant has taken Kuzma under his wing since he entered the league last year. Early in his rookie season, Kuzma reached out to Bryant to grab dinner and talk about hoops. Since then, Bryant and Kuzma have worked out together and talk regularly.
As far as mentors go, Kuzma could do a lot worse.
Fans that like Kuzma’s PE of the Kobe ADs (aka people with functioning eyeballs) can order them directly through Nike.com for $160 (taxes and shipping not included).
You can follow this author on Twitter at @RadRivas.