Kobe Bryant has built just about the most thriving market for signature shoes this side of Michael Jordan, and retirement hasn’t delayed the thirst for new models from the Los Angeles Lakers legend.
But without Bryant in the league to debut the shoes, that honor has gone to Southern California native and Kobe fan DeMar DeRozan over the last couple of years, as the then-Raptors guard was the first to debut the Kobe A.D. NXT 360 last year.
It appears he’s getting the honor again for Kobe’s next signature, as he was photographed wearing the model — rumored to drop on August 24, or 8/24, otherwise known as Kobe Day — in a game at the Drew League on Saturday:
DeMar DeRozan on court with the world debut of the new Kobe A.D. Rumored to drop on Kobe Day.#KicksAtTheDrew #TheDrew pic.twitter.com/zEAh3Vdx5z— Drew League (@DrewLeague) August 12, 2018
This shoe actually looks a ton like the KD Trey 5, although with the swoosh a lot lower and a few other differences in material, as well as Kobe’s symbol and name on the back of the shoes:
Kyle Kuzma, one of the biggest sneaker heads in the Lakers’ locker room who got the chance to rock the Kobe 1 Protros for a Nike advertisement for the shoe, likes this new Kobe signature as well:
Good lord!!!! can’t wait to rock these on the court https://t.co/GyPNsdPWD3— kuz (@kylekuzma) August 12, 2018
Yours truly disagrees on the look being [repeated flames emojis], but that might have more to do with this specific colorway more so than the design of the shoe itself.
But ultimately with these things, the most important thing is comfort, and the last several models of Kobe’s signature sneakers have delivered comfort, support and lightness in spades. If this model can as well, it will find its fans just as the last two versions of the A.D.’s — which I do love — and the rest of Kobe’s sneakers have.
What do you think of the latest Kobes? Let us know in the comments below, and you can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.