Kobe Bryant‘s death in January sent shockwaves through the world of sports and far beyond, with the outpouring of grief surrounding the Mamba’s passing still palpable more than two months later. Nike Basketball is set to honor the late legend with a Kobe 5 Protro “Lakers.” A fresh take on one of the most popular models in Bryant’s long-running signature line, this iteration was first debuted by Los Angeles Lakers power forward Anthony Davis during the 2020 NBA All-Star Game in Chicago. Now, the team-centric colorway turned heartfelt homage is set for a full retail release.
Regal Lakers purple is present on the quarter and toebox, split by gold-rimmed black accents on the eyestays, mudguard and midfoot Swoosh. This colorblocking is undeniably clever: the Kobe 5’s sleek synthetic upper only consists of a single layer, but the secondary color placement provides a trompe l’oeil effect by giving the illusion of overlaid tooling. Kobe’s sheath logo graces the tongue, and the firm plastic heel clip is emblazoned with his signature.
Insoles offer a breezy purple-and-gold LA-themed print with palm trees and buildings. Down below, a soft white EVA foam midsole holds a double-sized Zoom Air unit — one of the Protro’s biggest performance upgrades from the OG Kobe 5s — and an icy blue outsole with a final sheath logo finalizes the look.
Although the Nike Kobe 5 Protro “Lakers” appeared on Sneakersnstuff‘s website with a drop date of April 1 and a MSRP of $180 USD, a Nike representative has stated that they will not release.