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The Nike Kobe 4 Epitomises the 'Mamba Mentality'

Kobe Birthday Protro Release HeaderKobe Birthday Protro Release Header

As the echoes of Kobe Bryant’s tragic passing reverberate around the globe, his fans continue to ease the heartache with recollections of his colossal contributions ­– both cultural and on the court.

Without a doubt, Kobe’s greatest gift to the sneaker community was the Nike Kobe 4. This silhouette represented ‘The Black Mamba’ at the peak of his creative and playing powers. Back in 2008, Kobe was fresh off a gold medal at the Summer Games, and once again contending for an NBA championship, so he challenged Nike to reintroduce a signature low-cut basketball shoe to market. It may have been low in profile, but the Kobe 4 remains a mammoth force on (and off) courts worldwide to this day.

Embodying the ‘Mamba Mentality’, the Kobe 4 drove progression, defying convention to blaze a trail for a new generation of performance basketball sneakers.

The numbers certainly backed up Avar’s claims. Kobe put together yet another stellar season, averaging 26.8 points, with close to 5 assists and 1.5 steals per game. However, full Mamba mode was activated in the Playoffs, where he averaged 30 points and secured another NBA Championship ring (and the Finals MVP to boot).

A decade on, the OG was given a reincarnation via Kobe’s visionary Protro concept, which injected the 2009 model with a swag of contemporary upgrades. Boasting an adjusted vamp shape, a sleeker heel shape, and wider outsole traction, the Kobe 4 Protro’s advancements gave today’s ballers more reason than ever to lace ‘em up.

(Pic via nbakixoncourt)

Countless NBA stars, including Anthony Davis, Lonzo Ball, Devin Booker, and even Jordan-signed Luka Dončić have all been recently spotted tearing it up in a pair, but sneaker king PJ Tucker perhaps sums things up best.

‘I almost always finish games in ’em… Best hoop shoe ever!’

Much like Kobe’s lesser-known nickname ‘Vino’, the Nike Kobe 4 continues to get better with age, just like a fine wine.

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