The legacy of the Black Mamba lives on. On the day that would’ve been Kobe Bryant’s 42nd birthday (Aug. 23), Nike is kicking off “Mamba Week,” a week-long event celebrating Bryant’s Hall of Fame NBA career and beyond.
Not only is the Swoosh honoring the Lakers legend through products, but the Nike Foundation has also announced it will be donating $1 million to the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation in memory of Kobe, his daughter Gianna, and the seven others who tragically lost their lives in January.
Each year, during the month of August, Nike celebrates basketball legend Kobe Bryant in the form of Mamba Day. It happens on the day that combines both of Bryant’s jersey numbers: August 24 (a.k.a. 8/24).
This is the first Mamba Day since Bryant’s tragic death in January, and the Swoosh is commemorating his life and legacy by extending the celebration to an entire week. Starting on Sunday, August 23 (which would have been the icon’s 42nd birthday), Nike will start rolling out a special footwear collection featuring memorable colorways of the Kobe V Protro, along with a limited-edition jersey co-designed by Mamba himself.
Nike Kobe 5 Protro 'Big Stage'
This year will mark the 10-year anniversary of Kobe Bryant capturing his fifth NBA title, and to celebrate, Nike is reimagining the sneakers he wore on the court with the release of the Nike Kobe 5 Protro “Big Stage.” The shoe combines the original home and away “Big Stage” Kobe 5 colorways but is updated with tattoo-inspired details featuring some of Bryant’s notable achievements from the ’09-’10 season.
Nike Kobe 5 Protro '5X Champ'
As a nod to the championship-themed jackets that Kobe Bryant was seen wearing after his second and third NBA championships, this Nike Kobe 5 Protro “5X Champ” wears the Los Angeles Lakers’ team colors with a textured purple upper paired with black with gold accents.
Undefeated x Nike Kobe 5 Protro 'What If?'
Los Angeles-based sneaker boutique Undefeated is participating in the “Mamba Week” celebrations by introducing its own Nike Kobe 5 Protro “What If?” pack, recalling the day that Kobe Bryant got drafted in June 1996. The pair on the left sports a bevy of colors that may look out of place at first, but are inspired by the team colors of the twelve NBA franchises that passed on Bryant in the draft. The style on the right dons the colors of the Charlotte Hornets, who selected Bryant before eventually trading him to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Nike Kobe 5 Protro 'Girls EYBL'
Greek mythology’s Medusa serves as the inspiration behind this Kobe 5 Protro “Girls EYBL,” and her ability to freeze onlookers similar to how young female athletes can freeze defenders with a single glance. The pair sports a dark pine green color scheme with scale detailing printed throughout the upper, and co-branding stamped on the tongue.
Los Angeles Lakers City Edition Jersey
Celebrating Kobe Bryant Day, Nike is bringing back the “Black Mamba”-inspired Los Angeles Lakers City Edition jersey that was originally introduced in 2017. It dons a tonal black snakeskin print with 8 gracing the front and 24 on the back— the two numbers worn during his Hall-of-Fame career.