words // Nick DePaula
images // Sole Collector China

With Nike set to unveil The Ninth later this afternoon, lets take a look back at where it all started.

Designed by Ken Link, the Zoom Kobe 1 released during the 2005-2006 season and marked the signature start of Kobe Bryant's transcendent namesake series.

Kobe just so happened to go out and drop 81 points in it, and Kenzo still remembers exactly where he was when it happened.

"I was in Taiwan watching the game, and it was like, 'He's out of control!' I'm thinking, 'He could go for 100,'" Link says. "I remember it being big - it was in the paper there the next day. I remember just thinking like, 'Wow, when he wants to, no one can stop him.'"

Stay tuned for more on the Nike Kobe series, and an exclusive look at The Ninth later today.