words // Nick DePaula

images // Sole Collector China

After two great performance successes in the first two installments of the Zoom Kobe line, the Zoom Kobe III took on its own unique styling approach as designer Eric Avar came back into the fold.

Avar again took Tinker's advice of changing things up every so often in a shoe line to heart. This sneaker was undoubtedly unlike any other shoe in the line, as it took on a theme and aesthetic all its own.

"He's very, very big on analogies and metaphors," Avar explains about Kobe's approach to design. "That's great from a design standpoint, because it's just so rich in design inspiration and how you pull different inspirations. At that time, he had talked a lot about the black mamba snake and it being one of the most deadly and sleekest creatures on earth and how that related to his game."