Kobe Bryant didn’t have to think very hard when helping Nike to design the Los Angeles Lakers’ new “city edition” uniforms.
The duds feature a snakeskin pattern, in a nod to Bryant’s famous Black Mamba nickname.
Exclusive: Kobe Bryant talks to ESPN about the new snakeskin print Lakers city edition jerseys from Nike that he helped design: https://t.co/uHCriOA1zb
— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) December 27, 2017
All 30 NBA teams will have city edition jerseys, but the Lakers are the only franchise using them to honor their own legends.
“Black added a level of mystery,” Bryant says. “You watch athletes run up and down the floor, but you don’t know what is inside of them. And that’s what the black mamba stands for — what is inside of you. It doesn’t stand just for me. It stands for an attitude that should be inside of you when you put the Laker jersey on. You should play with a killer approach.”
As a matter of taste, Bryant also defaults to clean and basic. “I like simple,” Bryant says. “Nothing busy. I like things that convey a message instantaneously.”
Another reason black appealed: It evoked a famous SLAM magazine cover from 2003, in which Bryant poses with three championship trophies — one for each title in the Shaq-Kobe-era three-peat — wearing a black version of an Elgin Baylor/Jerry West-era throwback.