The late great Kobe Bryant rewrote the history books throughout his life. Not only did the Los Angeles Lakers legend make basketball history, he also left an indelible mark on performance footwear.
Bryant’s signature line was so popular that Nike started releasing their retro shoes with performance upgrades (known as the Protro) in 2018. Fans and hoopers could pick up the Kobe 1, Kobe 4, and Kobe 5 Protros with relative ease.
After Bryant’s tragic passing in January 2020, Nike’s vision for the Kobe line became less clear. The Kobe 6 Protro has dropped in limited colorways and stocks. Not to mention that Nike and the Bryant estate couldn’t agree on a new contract for 11 months.
Fortunately, in March 2022, the two parties announced a new partnership. Now, Nike may soon bring back a fan favorite. Instagram account @kobe_archive posted a photo of an all-black pair of sneakers with the caption, “Kobe 8 Protro Wear-Test Sample – Rumored to release Fall 22′ c/o @patchenhz_97.”
FanNation Kicks can’t verify if the rumors are true. But they are certainly exciting. Nike did not release the Kobe Protro sneakers in chronological order. Switching from Kobe 7 to Kobe 8 would not be surprising.
Eric Avar designed the Nike Kobe 8 system which was originally released in December 2012 for $140. Nike used engineered mesh in the minimalist basketball shoe, which was a first in company history. Bryant wore the Kobe 8 throughout his incredible run during the second half of the 2011-12 NBA season.
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Nike gave no indication on the future of the Kobe Protro series. Fans have speculated that the Kobe 8 could be the next installment, but there are no official images or release dates.
However, the company agreed to a new contract with Chicago Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan two weeks ago. According to Shams Charania of AthleticismDeRozan will be the star face of the Nike Kobe line.
Hopefully, now that Nike and the Bryant estate are back in business, loyal fans will be able to shop the classic hoop shoes again. We’ll keep you posted as we learn more. Stay locked in FanNation Kicks for the latest news, updates, and interviews.
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