The Secret Of The Mamba’s Head
And why Rondo in Kobe VIs is just wrong.
by Chris O’Leary/@olearychris
As I wrote earlier this week, I spent the weekend in LA, checking out the Lakers-Celtics game and Kobe Bryant’s appearance at the Nike Vault after the game.
While I got the major info over in my initial post (sneakers, Black Mamba short film/ad), a few other things have popped up regarding the weekend that need a post of their own.
When we left the event on Sunday, there was a stack of boxes waiting outside the Vault’s door. A Nike employee handed each of us a box as we made our way past. It was a small box (smaller than what sneakers would come in, which would have been my first guess as to its contents) and on the outside it had two words written on it, in all caps.
I got up to my hotel room and cracked the box open. Sure enough, a little plastic, coiled black mamba was inside its plastic terrarium.
Honestly, I looked at the snake, thought it was a fun little add on from Nike, but mostly just wondered how I was going to get it home. I managed to pack it into my bag the next morning, but had to lose the cardboard box it came in.
When I got home Monday night and unpacked, I started to clue in on what was happening. The flight home was rough on the little mamba. That, or the customs guys at the border were. Everything in the box had been shuffled around, un-stuck and uprooted. And the snake’s head was off.
The beheading of the snake was a blessing in disguise. The head was actually a USB key. I popped it into my laptop and found a plethora of material that would have made the writing of my initial post less stressful (a press release, pics, trailers, etc.). I also found a cool little video that Nike made. Check that out here.
Also on the key were a slew of apparel pics that I didn’t get to on Monday. The K.O.B.E. collection, which is broken down to Kobe’s initials spelling out Know, Originate, Battle, Elevate).
Those words and the symbols that accompany them feature prominently in this Destroyer Jacket, which was on display at the Vault on Sunday. Nike explains it further:
“The badges and embroidery on each K.O.B.E piece provide a unique look at his life that breaks down the name. To Know is reflected in the black spade that harks back to his high school sports logo and early history. To Originate is represented by the open book that reflects culture. To Battle is visible in the reinterpreted Italian soccer champions badge in Pan-African flag colors that—among other meanings—reflect Kobe’s love for the flair and speed of ‘the beautiful game’. To Elevate, a laurel represents a time spent honing his craft in Italy as a youngster.”
Accompanying the clothes are two Kobe-themed Air Force 1s. First, a traditional black and purple makeup. Second, an AF1 Foamposite with the Kobe symbol on the tongue.
Finally, we need to talk about Rajon Rondo.
Leaping over from Kobe to Rondo and the Celtics seems like sacrilege in a Kobe-centric post, doesn’t it? It does. It goes the other way, too. Most fans wouldn’t wear purple and gold to a Celtics game. They wouldn’t rock a Kobe jersey when the Lakers are in town (you’re a brave fan if you do).
So it was with great shock and disappointment that I saw Rondo wearing the Kobe VI Rice edition last night against the Sacramento Kings.
I’ve never been a fan of players in the league wearing the shoes of their fellow competitors. You didn’t see Magic’s Lakers or Isaiah’s Pistons in Jordans, did you? After MJ put 63 on the Celtics in 86, Larry Bird may have called Jordan God playing basketball, but he didn’t go onto the next round in the playoffs wearing Air Jordans, did he?
Unfortunately, this isn’t a reality in today’s NBA. Everyone wears everyone else’s kicks. The LeBron line has made its way onto feet of players across the League, and it’s even more true with Kobe’s sneaks. The one place where I thought it would hold up though, was in Boston. Storied rivalry that stretches decades aside, is Rondo’s memory that short? Has he already forgotten how the Finals played out last year?
The shoes are hot, no question. But so are Rondo’s PE Hyperfuses. If it came down to it, I’d expect a Nike-wearing Celtic to rock a pair of black, white or green Chucks before he laced up some Kobes. To keep my faith in the Celts, I’ll assume this is a sign of the apocalypse.
Pic courtesy of CounterKicks.