April 13th, which was declared “Mamba Day” by Nike, turned out to be very memorable and outstanding. Performing in the final game of his career, Kobe Bryant ended up scoring a total of 60 points by the end of it. With the launch of the Kobe 11 “Mamba Day” iD, which was an absolute, 100% sell-through, Nike also proved that Kobe Bryant’s retirement does not mean that the numbered line of his signature sneakers will come to an end too. On the contrary, the Swoosh already has plans to drop a brand new Kobe 11 colorway that looks back at the day the Black Mamba was drafted.
For those who are not aware of the history of Kobe Bryant’s drafting, playing as a part of the Los Angeles Lakers throughout his career, he had originally been drafted by the Charlotte Hornets 1996 NBA draft. According to Arn Tellem, who was the Mamba’s agent at the time, he had already planned for Kobe to be traded to the Lakers before he got drafted. However, the Hall of Famer himself claims that the Hornets never wanted him. Apparently, the Hornets already had several shooting guards already, so Dave Cowens (the Hornets’ head coach) told Kobe that they did not really need him.
The Charlotte Hornets may not have realized Kobe’s true worth, but Nike still memorialize the fact that they did draft him by designing a brand new Kobe 11 iteration that has been aptly dubbed “Draft Day.” Hence, the clean white uppers of this sneaker is dressed up in the signature hues of the Hornets, so the inner linings, laces, Nike Swooshes, side panels and tongues are all covered in a combination of blue lagoon and purple. Completing the look, the outsoles match the upper since they are in white too.
The fact that the Kobe 11 “Mamba Day” sold out on NIKEiD almost instantly should be enough proof that despite his retirement, Kobe Bryant’s signature sneaker series will go a long way. Technically the second sneaker release following his retirement, Nike will drop the Kobe 11 “Draft Day” on April 28th and it will retail for $160.
Nike Kobe 11 “Draft Day”
White/Blue Lagoon-Court Purple
Release Date: April 28, 2016