by Abe Schwadron@abe_squad

The Kobe 8 System is by no means “new” anymore, since the original has been available at retail for over a month, and fresh colorways have been dropping for special ocassions like Christmas and Black History Month. But I finally got my first opportunity to wear-test the Mambas new shoes over the weekend, at an exclusive Kobe 8 elevated training session at the Barclays Center practice court in Brooklyn.

Laced in the Kobe 8 “Python,” the assembled participants ran through drills designed specifically for Kobe Bryant. You know—isolation, “gimme-the-rock-right-now” type ish. And while working up a sweat before noon on a Saturday isn’t typically how I get my weekends started, the chance to run inside the Barclays—and in the Kobe 8—was a treat.

Performance-wise, I was a big fan of the Kobe VII, so I was excited to slip on the 8s. No lie, these might be the most comfortable basketball shoes on the market right now. Before last year’s release, I had been a steadfastly high-top hooper. Like, always. But the KB line continues to amaze with comfort and flexibility.

Above are some photos of the experience (yeah, that’s me calling for the ball in the post—call me DaWhite), plus a few snapshots of Mr. Bean himself, who made a surprise appearance to speak to students at Brooklyn’s Bishop Louglin School while in town for tonight’s Lakers-Nets showdown in BK.

Big thanks to Nike for the invite. And remember, use hashtag #CountOnKobe on Twitter to join the discussion.