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NBA Apparel: The Kobe Line

Heroes come and go, but sneakers live forever.

Kobe vs. Philadelphia
Kobe vs. Philadelphia
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Kobe recently announced his retirement from the NBA.  Even though we are all still crying over the end of the Kobe Era, one thing we know to be true is that "heroes come and go, but sneakers live forever".  Okay, maybe I meant 'legends', but either way Kobe's shoes aren't going anywhere.

Kobe started his career as an Adidas athlete, but ended as a Nike athlete.  He wore many different shoes for both brands, and even wore Jordan's during his free agency.  Here is a look (starting with the Nike Kobe IX) at part of the progression of his Nike line:

Kobe 4

Kobe IX (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

kobe 5

Kobe X (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

kobe 6

Kobe XI (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

kobe 8

Kobe VIII (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

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Kobe IX (Photo Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn - USA TODAY Sports)

kobe 10

Kobe X (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Kobe is one of the best players to have played the game of basketball, and he is often compared to Michael Jordan.  However, in the world of sneakers, the Kobe line is not as big as the Jordan brand.  My guess is that this is due to the time they played relative to today.  The question shouldn't be "who would win in their prime", the question is "Will the Kobe line ever live up to the Jordan brand?  I'll let you decide.