Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant has always been associated with Nike. But prior to this iconic partnership, Kobe had other sneakers too. He started with Adidas and then had that famous sneaker free agency in 2003, where he had multiple sneakers released.
One of Kobe’s biggest fans, Rockets center P. J. Tucker, recently spoke about the iconic shoes Kobe wore during that time.
“Over the years, it’s so funny when he first wore the Jordan 3s. It went over your head,” Tucker said during a recent video. “You gotta remember at that what was happening with Adidas and him wearing Reeboks.
“At the moment, it was dope, but still, people don’t realize the magnitude of a player like Kobe doing that. That rarely happens. For him to have done that, it was crazy. I’m happy he did, cuz now we get to cherish these now. The Jordan 3s and the Jordan 8s. The 8s are cool, but the 3s to me are the ones that are crazy.”
After a few years of partnering with Adidas, Kobe reportedly paid millions to get out of that contract in 2002. He couldn’t sign another shoe deal for a year, so with that began a never seen before, sneaker free-agency. As Tucker said, it was unimaginable that a player of Kobe’s stature wouldn’t have a sneaker contract.
During that season, Kobe wore many brands. From Converse to Jordans, and even AND1s, Kobe wore them all. But his most iconic shoes from that time are the Jordans that Tucker mentioned and the Reebok Yellow Toe.
The Reebok Question Mid Yellow Toe was one of the most iconic pairs Kobe wore during that season. There were rumors that Reebok would release it again, but there was nothing official. But Lakers guard Quinn Cook was spotted in the bubble wearing a pair.
One of Tucker’s favorite pairs and one of the best pairs of this free-agency, the Air Jordan 3 PE. A Player-Exclusive pair sold for $30000 in an auction back in 2017, just proving just how much fans loved these sneakers.
It is highly unlikely that any superstar will ever have a similar sneaker free agency ever again.
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