The Forest Lab’s New Kobe Bryant Tee

by Bryan Crawford | @_BryanCrawford

Some people have an obsession with shoes, which puts them in the “Sneakerhead” category. Of course I like shoes and have quite a few pair, but my real obsession is T-shirts. At last count, I had upwards of 150. I’m not too picky about who makes the shirt either because if it’s dope, I’ll cop it. But my favorite apparel company of all, The Forest Lab, keeps the streets flooded with the freshest designs and they’re back at it again with another tee that’s sure to become a classic.

One of the most iconic and lasting sports images is that of Muhammad Ali standing over Sonny Liston after dropping him the first round of their bout in 1965. It was absolutely perfect photography, almost as if Ali was actually posing for the shot. He’s a cultural icon who at various times in his career was both idolized and vilified, but whether you liked him or not, one thing was true: Muhammad Ali was a bad MF’er.

And so is Kobe Bryant.

The Forest Lab first pledged their allegiance to Bean with their “Only Kings Have Rings” series of shirts a couple of years ago. One of the original designs featured Kobe on the front wearing a crown and on the back, a hand with a splint on the index finger and 4 Championship rings. The shirt was later updated to feature a fifth ring (on the splint) after the Lakers beat the Celtics in the 2010 NBA Finals. TFL has been putting out dope “Kings” series shirts featuring Kobe ever since, the latest being creative spins on classic photos.

From Wilt Chamberlain’s “100” photo, to probably the greatest poster ever made, Michael Jordan’s “Wings,” The Forest Lab has done their best to pay homage to Kobe as one of the NBA’s greatest players.

But their latest design which is based on the iconic Ali photo should be a hit with Kobe Bryant fans everywhere and sure to illicit a few, “Yo, where’d you get that shirt from?” inquiries when worn in public.

The shirt [pictured above] features Kobe standing in the Ali pose looking down on a player clad in a headband, a depiction of what appears to be *coughs* LeBron James, *coughs* adding more fuel to the already heated debates about which player is better, in a discussion that almost always ends this way: Kobe has five rings, LeBron has none and at the end of the day, nothing else matters.

Whether you agree with that or not isn’t the point, and this isn’t a post about who’s better and certainly not intended to spark an already tired debate. No, this post is to bring something dope to your attention, featuring products made by a company on the West Coast who has proven time and again that they recognize and appreciate what’s real.

So make sure to check them out at and if you see something you like, cop it!