As April 13, aka #MambaDay, approaches, Kobe Bryant fans and sneakerheads across the world are paying their respects to one of the greatest of all-time by rocking his kicks. Some already started 21 days ago with a clever hashtag like #24DaysOfMamba (note: that’s not me), while others are just getting in on the action at the last second like they’re buying a New York Yankees hat for the first time right around the time Derek Jeter was retiring. Nike started things off with their short film that highlighted what Kobe meant to Nike’s roster and of course, the famous Black Mamba pack that is nearly impossible to cop (as of this post, I have not won a single Draw… I suck…) and the special Nike Kobe 11 iD that you will only have a limited amount of time to make.
With Nike setting up Mamba to rock the black and gold Nike Kobe 11 Black Mamba for his final game, here are some other black and gold Nike Kobe kicks that you might want to consider wearing on the 13th.
10Nike Kobe 8 Elite
This one is a little depressing because Mamba was supposed to wear these had he made it to the 2013 NBA Playoffs. He did wear a pair of the Kobe 8 Elite as he torn his ACL so that shoe will always be infamous than anything else. Of course, if Kobe is the unrelenting jerk that he makes himself out to be sometimes, he’ll rock the Kobe 8s for his last game in one last act of spite.
9Nike Kobe 10 EXT Mid
Yeah, they’re not that great but we had to fill out this list and amazingly, these are less depressing to wear than the Kobe 8 Elite. Still sad and not that great of an effort at a lifestyle release, but it could have been worse. Kobe could have torn his ACL wearing these. Ok, moving on…
8Nike Kobe 10 Elite Rose Gold
Now here’s where it gets good. The Rose Gold colorway might not be the gold that we all know and love, but it has a special appeal to it that actually works better in a casual situation than your gaudy gold. Yellow gold is dope, especially if you’re rocking a chain like Run DMC or Razor Ramon, but sometimes you want some that’s a little more sedated. Rose Gold fits that bill perfectly.
7Nike Kobe 7 System Elite
The debut of the Nike Basketball’s Elite series back in 2011 had a lot of people hyped with their emphasis on creating kicks that were built for the rigors of the postseason. What a lot of people did not see coming was how the Kobe 7 Elite looked a lot like the Kobe 6 with the scaled upper. It’s a little jarring and with the Lakers getting knocked out of the Playoffs earlier than expected, it dampened the impact of this release. Some pairs even made it outlet stores at nearly half off. If you were lucky enough to cop, congrats.
6Nike Kobe 10 Elite Low Five Rings
It might not have the hook of a “Six Rings” or even better, “Seven Rings”, but Mamba’s championship count is nonetheless impressive and definitely worth celebrating. This limited Christmas release had Kobe fans lining up outside of Staples Center this past December 25th because it would also include an amazing box
5Nike Kobe 11 Eastbay Edition
You can technically make this pair right now on NIKEiD, but there’s something satisfying about being able to cop without having to go through the design process and higher price point. It fits the criteria perfectly with the black and metallic gold and makes it shine.
4Nike Zoom Kobe 6 BHM
Kobe’s signature kicks have been a part of Nike’s Black History Month program for quite some time now and the Zoom Kobe 6 received the black and gold treatment. It’s a fitting pair to rock for Mamba’s last ride.
3Nike Kobe 2 Prelude
Ok, this is technically cheating since it’s grey and gold, but we have to give a shout out to one of the best Kobes Nike has ever made. With a beautiful marble finish, the shoe looks right at home in a museum and not on some hypebeast’s feet. Between the Prelude Pack and the Black Mamba Pack where Kobe has brought back his old kicks, this is still stands tall as the one to get.
2Nike Zoom Kobe 5 Big Stage
The 2010 NBA Finals saw Kobe wear home and away versions of the Zoom Kobe 5 Big Stage, which were special edition colorways that represented the golden allure of the Larry O’Brien trophy and Kobe’s epic resume. Mamba finally beat the Celtics rocking these kicks and in maybe the most pressure packed moment of his career, he led the Lakers to a win in Boston to force a Game 7 wearing the black version.
1Nike Kobe 11 Black Mamba
Well, it is the shoe he’s scheduled to wear for his last game, so duh…