Last night marked the end of an era.
The Black Mamba himself, Mr. Kobe Bean Bryant played his last NBA game on Wednesday, and left in resounding fashion, scoring 60 points and helping the Lakers to a 101-96 win over the Utah Jazz.
He’s one of the greatest players of all time, and did a lot of incredible things during his 20-year career in the NBA. The only guard to ever play 20 seasons, his accolades range from championships to MVP awards to 81-point games. You know his history. You know what he did. You knew him for the killer instinct, the ferocity he attacked the rim with, the burning passion he displayed every time he set foot on the court.
You knew him for his moves. His signature fadeaway and leaning jumpers. The impossible twisting layups. The highlight-reel dunks. The man was a legend, and his impact on the game of basketball will never be forgotten.
Neither will his shoes. The first player to truly popularize low-tops as a signature basketball shoe, he pushed the design team at Nike to create the lightest. most responsive, most forwards-thinking basketball shoes on the market. Their performance and comfort was second to none, and legions of hoopers swear by them. When it comes to pure performance in basketball sneakers, nobody could top Kobe. And yeah, there were some cool colorways too, like the Mambacurials and the “What The” Kobes.
We also can’t forget what he did with Adidas in his mini-fro, #8 days. Crazy 8’s (formerly KB8’s until he signed with Nike)? The Adidas Kobe, which was modeled after the Audi TT Roadster? Yes, there are some bangers in the Adidas archive too.
So thank you, Kobe. For all you did on the court, and all you did off it with your kicks. You’ll always be respected, and never be forgotten.
What was your favorite Kobe moment? Do you have a favorite Kobe shoe? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter, check our Facebook page for daily updates, and, as always, be sure to follow us on Instagram for all the fire sneaker pictures you can handle.