words // Nick DePaula
Just after the turn of the millenium, Kobe Bryant was entering what would be the start of a legacy-defining playoff run.
Fittingly, he was wearing the "Playoff"-dubbed version of his signature adidas The Kobe kicks, featuring a graphite link mesh upper atop the Audi-inspired sleekened design of the first adidas Basketball to bear his name in full.
Just how great did Kobe's 2001 playoff run with the Lakers go? They swept Portland 4-0 in the 1st round, swept my Sacramento Kings 4-0 in the 2nd round, then swept the San Antonio Spurs 4-0 to advance to the NBA Finals. After losing Game 1 of the Finals to Allen Iverson, the Lakers went on to win four straight to clinch the Finals and kick off their three-peat of rings.
Kobe's stats during that 2001 run? 29.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and 6.1 assists -- far more boards and dimes than he'd average again during a year in which they made the FInals.
Now more than a decade later, adidas Basketball is re-issuing The Kobe once again. This time around, the shoe has been re-branded as the Crazy 1, yet still pays tribute to one of Bryant's greatest playoff stretches. To get the fabric of the Retro's upper just right, they even sent an original pair to their factories, matching the mesh as closely as possible.