words & images // Nick DePaula

Long before his low tops left a lasting legacy across town in Beaverton, Kobe Bryant was a signature athlete with adidas Basketball, and we have a look here at an early round sample of the first shoe to bear his name in full, once known simply as The Kobe.

With a brisk Ice Blue synthetic upper, this version that never made it to retail features dark grey mesh along the collar and tongue, a matching midsole, and a trial run placement of Bryant's ever-awesome "Frobe" logo along the collar that never stuck.

The shoe has not only been repackaged nowadays as the Crazy 1, but it's also received quite a few performance tweaks and upgrades for today's players, as we found out in a recent chat with adidas Basketball Category Footwear Manager Jack Gray.

Check out an original sample of The Kobe in "Ice Blue," and be sure to check out the similarly styled retro pair of the "Vapor Blue" Crazy 1 Retro, now hitting retailers.