After leaving adidas and before signing with Nike, Kobe Bryant flirted with the idea of joining Allen Iverson at Reebok. Some details from a meeting he had with the brand are presented in a new piece at Bleacher Report that breaks down the importance of Bryant's footwear over the years.
The NBA legend visited Reebok's campus in the summer of 2002 and was presented with an early prototype of what would have been his signature shoe and a pitch that dubbed him "The Assassin."
According to Reebok's Vice President of Marketing Todd Krinsky, the brand was confident that it had a chance to sign Bryant.
"We thought we were pretty close to signing him, but I knew not to get my hopes up too high," said Krinsky. "You start to factor in money and relationships, and things can change really fast."
While he never signed with the brand, Reeboks became part of Bryant's sneaker legacy when he set the NBA record for most three-pointers in a game in January, 2003, wearing the Reebok Question.
Bryant said that his decision to sign with Nike in the end hinged on the brand's infrastructure
"My decision really factored on a company's infrastructure apart from their creative design team," said Bryant. "It's about their ability to market and execute business initiatives. But it's really about betting on myself, that I'm able to build a successful business with whoever I sign with, so that was the deciding factor why I went with Nike."
Read the full Bleacher Report piece here.