Event Recap: Kobe Bryant & Nike Basketball Unveil “The Black Mamba”

02.03.11 7 years ago 15 Comments

Over the weekend, I spent time in Los Angeles for Nike Basketball’s All-Star Pre-Heat bash, which consisted of seeing the trailer for Kobe’s The Black Mamba movie and taking in the Lakers-Celtics matchup at Staples Center. And of course, we were allowed to view upcoming Nike releases centered around the 2011 NBA All-Star game, dubbed The Neighborhood Collection, which includes several new colorways of the Zoom Kobe VI as well as special makeups of the Hyperfuse and Air Force 1 models.
Since the invite was for one only, I couldn’t take everybody with me so I did the second best thing I could think of, that being to take a lot of pictures and try to remember as much information as I possibly could. That said, exit through the gift shop if you don’t like sneakers or pics. However, if you like decent photos and enjoy my ramblings, click forth and continue on.

The Game

Our Sunday started early as we walked over to Staples. Even though the Lakers lost, the game was cool from an experience standpoint. I’m generally one to prefer taking in sports from the comfort of my couch. However, I can’t front on having a chance to watch one of the most storied rivalries in sports firsthand and from a suite to boot.

The Black Mamba Movie

After the game, we walked over to The Vault on Figueroa and that’s where the show really started for me. We were there to see the then unreleased second trailer for the Mamba… movie and learn about upcoming products.
The shoes yo. That’s all I’m about. No matter how old I get or how many pairs I’ve had, sneakers always spark a level of excitement. Let me see the shoes, hear the technical points and design influences. Tell me the stories about how they came to be and I’m hooked. For the sneakers, graphic designer Erick Goto (above right) did just those things, sharing how the various sections of LA influences each design and the challenge associated with bringing out the city’s true colors using sneakers as the palette.
After the designers and Robert Rodgriguez spoke, in walked the man himself. Personally, I don’t know if I’d show up after a hard day at work but Kobe’s a solid businessman and respectful guy. His wife and kids joined us as well, Vanessa sitting directly in front of me and right beside the homie Hawaii Mike. Mike played it cool. Cute kids. Smoking hot wife.

The Black Mamba Movie

We all know and have heard that Kobe’s a fierce competitor who works hard and demands the same from those around him in order to achieve excellence. The film’s goal is to bring Kobe’s Black Mamba alter ego to life and, as the trailer shows, will highlight his determination and “fight to the finish” spirit. And yes, Kanye and Bruce Willis are part of the narrative. The film was created in partnership with Wieden+Kennedy and they always bring creative campaigns to the table so the final product should be nothing short of amazing.
The Black Mamba will launch on Saturday, February 19, 2011, at 1:00 am PST and you can sign up at Nike Basketball to be amongst the first to see the full movie.

The Apparel

The Neighborhood Collection’s theme pays homage the distinct spirit of Los Angeles neighborhoods – East LA, Orange County and Hollywood. Each of the three Kobe VI colors leads a pack of Nike silhouettes including two Hyperfuse and the Air Force 1.
The overwhelming favorite among most of our crew and sneakerheads across the board would be The OC Kobe VI’s. Of course, I’m a fan as well because they’re astoundingly bright, done in total orange and cannon blue.
I’ve already said how much I like the Hollywoods, also affectionally referred to as the 3Ds. Web pics don’t do these complete justice. The snakeskin pattern on the upper is done in classic red/blue “anaglyph” 3D that’s visible when viewed while wearing the included glasses. These will be launching February 11, 2011, available on www.nike.com.
While we were discussing the kicks, I asked Eric to throw on the shades for a photo opp. Ultra chill guy that he was, he complied. Really, he’s a great guy who’s probably living out a well-earned dream, having started out as a Nike intern and now designing for the Swoosh.

The Apparel

My absolute favorite was the East L.A. Kobe VI’s. I love blue hues and these were done in “Dodger blue,” referred to as “drenched blue” for Nike’s purposes. The only crappy part about these was they released on Saturday, during which time I was either trapped on an airplane or in L.A.’s infamous traffic and I missed the opportunity to cop at retail price.

The Apparel

I believe the black and red version should be hitting retail soon, if they haven’t already.
The VI’s from the BHM collection are fierce.
Detailed shot of the Concords.
The Grinches were there.
The Kobe Destroyer seen here is a part of Nike Sportswear’s K.O.B.E (Knowledge Originate Battle Elevate) True Colors collection. Very tough and the collection features other outerwear and two AF1’s, including the eggplant Foamposite AF1’s.

The Denouement

When I came back to my hotel room, I opened the door and saw a black bag sitting on my bed. Under normal circumstances, my instincts matched with having watched too many episodes of Law & Order almost led me to exit before entering, considering a mysterious bag to be part of a crime scene. Given the circumstances though, I proceeded and noticed it was a nice gift. I still took a pic with my camera just in case it was a bomb or a head rolled out of the bag. No way they were blaming me instead of the cleaning lady.
The Concords are sweet but the Kobe Ultimatum Gear Backpack is much sweeter.
The bag is large, padded, very well detailed and has a compartment to house sneakers. Available on NDC as well.

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