Early into the 2015-16 NBA season, Kobe Bryant decided that it was time. After 20 seasons and five championships with the Los Angeles Lakers, the Black Mamba’s storied career is coming to an end.
On April 13, 2016, the Lakers will host the Utah Jazz in Kobe’s final game. Nike has already dubbed that date as Mamba Day. In honor of Kobe, various Nike athletes will begin wearing black and gold shoes.
Love him or hate him, the Black Mamba’s prolific and successful career has fueled both joy and anger. In a nod to this duality, as the clock winds down on Kobe Bryant’s career, NIKE, Inc. is celebrating one of its most accomplished athletes with a befitting global tribute. Beginning today, Nike-sponsored athletes worldwide will celebrate the player many love to hate by wearing black and gold shoes, a metaphoric nod to Bryant’s golden career fading to black on April 13.
From the golf course in Augusta to football pitches in Europe and numerous fields of play in between, accomplished athletes including Rory McIlroy, Mike Trout and Carli Lloyd will honor one of the world’s most polarizing champions. Bryant is a hero to fans and a villain to others, but nobody can question his fierce competitiveness, which has led to five world championships, 18 All-Star appearances and two gold medals.
Paying tribute to one of the most polarizing athletes of the mid era, his intensity and passion is recognized throughout the world. With the Masters here, catch Rory McIlroy paying tribute while chasing the Green Jacket.
April 13th will also be the release date for the final pair of shoes from the Black Mamba collection. Starting with the 2K4, Nike has brought back a signature model.