EVEN as Kobe Bryant winds his career down with one of the worst teams in Los Angeles Lakers history, Nike will make sure the future Hall of Famer will step off the basketball court a winner.
The shoe-apparel giant marks Bryant’s last NBA game in the purple and gold, April 13 (April 14, Manila time), with 'Mamba Day' - a global tribute that will see over 200 Nike athletes honor the 18-year veteran by wearing black and gold colorway sneakers to symbolize Bryant’s “golden career fading to black."
“From the golf course in Augusta to football pitches in Europe and numerous fields of play in between, accomplished athletes including Rory McIlroy, Mike Trout and Carli Lloyd will honor one of the world’s most polarizing champions. Bryant is a hero to fans and a villain to others, but nobody can question his fierce competitiveness, which has led to five world championships, 18 All-Star appearances and two gold medals,” said a statement from Nike Inc.
Nike is the dominant brand in the NBA, with 305 of 448 players donning Swoosh shoes every game (29 players are also signed with Jordan Brand, a sister company).
The Lakers will host the Utah Jazz at the Staples Center in Kobe’s final game.