words // Brandon Richard
Your assignment: hit the court and shut down Kobe Bryant.
Most men would shy away from that duty, but Hornets swingman and former Kobe teammate Trevor Ariza lives for that type of challenge. In New Orleans' first round match-up against the Los Angeles Lakers, Ariza has had a fair amount of success limiting Kobe's effectiveness. In 5 games, Kobe's numbers are down across the board, giving the Hornets a puncher's chance to pull off the miracle. Not only has Ariza's defense been key, but his numbers are actually up across the board. It's been a tough adjustment for Ariza in New Orleans, but it looks like things are finally starting to come together for him.
Ariza has also been one of the fortunate Nike endorsers to receive player exclusive sneakers from the brand throughout the season. His Hyperdunk 2010 even made it to House of Hoops back in December. Here's a look at the Zoom Hyperfuse Low that Nike supplied him with for the playoffs.
The Hornets-inspired shoe features a black mesh and synthetic base with purple hugging the heel. Teal works the inner liner, Swoosh and "TA1" logo on the heel. Purple returns at the midsole and is finished off by a black and teal rubber outsole. Look for these on the court when the Hornets and Lakers lock up for Game 6 on Thursday.
via Nike Basketball