In his second season, Kobe Bryant was selected to his first NBA All-Star Game. Comparisons to Michael Jordan started as Kobe Bryant raised his scoring average to nearly 20 points per game in 1998-1999.
As Kobe Bryant's popularity rose, so did his shoes'. Sneaker collectors realized the phenom's potential and began collecting the adidas Kobe, adidas Kobe II, and KB8. After he signed with Nike, adidas reintroduced Kobe's first shoe, the KB8, under a new name: the adidas Crazy 8.
Starting in 2000, Los Angeles won back-to-back-to-back NBA Championships. It was after the 3rd consecutive NBA Championship that the Lakers traded away Shaquille O'Neal, breaking up one of the best 1-2 punches the league has ever seen. This gave Bryant the chance to begin solidifying his individual legacy as one of the game's greats. During the 2002-2003 season, Kobe scored 40 or more points in nine straight games, finished the month of February averaging 40.6 points per game.
In 2006, Kobe Bryant scored a career-high 81 points against the Toronto Raptors wearing his first signature shoe from Nike, the Nike Zoom Kobe. Two years later, Kobe won his first and only NBA Most Valuable Player Award while wearing the Nike Zoom Kobe III.
In 2008, with Nike Basketball unveiling new lightweight technologies like Flywire and Lunar Foam cushioning, the engineering of Kobe shoes changed the way other basketball shoes were designed. The Nike Zoom Kobe IV was the first mid-cut shoe in the Kobe signature line and helped Kobe Bryant win his fourth NBA Championship. Special colorways of the Kobe shoes became increasingly popular during this time.
For the 2009-2010 season, Nike again developed a new Kobe shoe, the Zoom Kobe V, which was a true low-top basketball shoe. Again, special colorways and Kobe's popularity on and off the court helped make the Zoom Kobe V and Zoom Kobe VI highly sought-after designs.
Nike continues to develop groundbreaking technologies with the Kobe Bryant signature line. The Kobe 8 System Basketball Shoe is the lightest and lowest Nike basketball shoe to date and is designed to fit like an extension of Kobe's foot for a quick first step. The engineered mesh upper provides a dynamic, ultra-lightweight fit that moves with the foot and offers 360 degrees of breathability to keep your foot cool while your game heats up. A Phylon™ midsole delivers lightweight comfort and stability, so you can move quickly and still get the structure you need to protect your foot. The full-length Lunarlon midsole insert adds lightweight cushioning that sits lower internally to offer better stability. One-millimeter rubber outsole combines a classic herringbone pattern with a snake scale-inspired traction pattern, providing tight contact with the floor so you can cut on a dime. It uses less rubber than traditional outsoles for lightweight durability and excellent multi-surface traction, making this a great indoor or outdoor shoe. The 3D anatomical heel counter provides a sleek, locked down fit, which adds to the shoe's ability to feel like an extension of your foot.