Today, our article is a tribute to a legend on and off-court. The man who was a role model to millions, who made people fall in love with basketball. The Black Mamba was a link between the old-school and the new era of basketball. The legacy he left went beyond just basketball and touched people’s souls in ways that we can’t explain. That’s why we’re saying goodbye to Kobe Bryant in our way.
Team switches happen all the time, even basketball greats like Michael Jordan and LeBron James did it! Kobe Bryant though, aka Black Mamba, had an impressive 20-year (1996- 2016) basketball career with only one team: the Los Angeles Lakers. But, his jersey number actually changed. 1996 through 2006, he sported the number 8. And by the start of the 2006-07 season, his Lakers jersey number became 24!
With a 20-year-old NBA career, Kobe Bryant holds impressive stat numbers. The most impressive number is the 81 points he scored in 2006 against the Toronto Raptors. To this day, it’s the second-highest number of points scored in NBA history, with Wilt Chamberlain leading the list at 100 points!
From December 2014 until January 2020 season, the Black Mamba held the 3rd position of highest all-time scorers with a total of 33,643 points! This January, LeBron James, surpassed his ex-teammate and pushed him one position lower on the list.
Kobe Bryant has a long list of achievements that will take a lot of time to count. That’s why we’re just mentioning some of them.
In addition to all of the on-court achievements, his short film “Dear Basketball” won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 2017 and made Kobe Bryant the first professional athlete to win an Oscar! Finally, the Black Mamba will be inducted to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2020.
Kobe Bryant: The Philanthropist
Now let’s move on to the charity work. Kobe Bryant spread the Mamba Mentality as far and wide as he could, and more. He was actually a contributor at many charities like the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, After-School All-Stars and Aid Still Required.
He also founded, with his wife Vanessa, the Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation. This foundation’s aim is to help the homeless and the youth.
The Black Mamba collaborated with many companies like Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Spalding, Nutella, and Nintendo. He also partnered up with Adidas and released one of the ugliest sneakers ever: The Kobe One.
The Nike x Kobe Bryant collaboration
After ending the contract with Adidas, Nike secured a deal for $40 million with the Black Mamba in 2003. This collaboration resulted in 13 new silhouettes of basketball sneakers. The kicks were affordable and popular. And in 2019, the most popular kicks were the Kobe Protro 4 Draft Day Hornets with 1,781 sales. The most popular Kobe collab in 2019 was the Kobe 4 Protro Undefeated with 3,670 sales! And here are some of his most memorable sneaker stories if you’re feeling nostalgic.
How Much Are Kobe Bryant Sneakers Worth?
Under normal circumstances, this section would be discussing the resale value and price premium of the kicks. However, after Kobe Bryant’s passing along with his daughter Gianna and 7 others, we’re not going to do it. Why? Because out of respect and love for the game, we won’t encourage reselling the kicks.
Resellers that are just in it for the money raised the prices for the profit right after the sudden death of the Black Mamba. That’s why Nike removed all the Kobe merch from their websites and some consignment stores stopped selling them for the time being. After all, it’s wrong to profit off somebody else’s death.
Goodbye Black Mamba
It’s always hard to say goodbye. Especially to somebody who had an immeasurable impact on millions of people around the world. However, the Mamba mentality that Kobe spread will always stay in our hearts. So to Kobe Bryant, Gianna Bryant, John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester, Christina Mauser, and Ara Zobayan, may your souls rest in peace.