The tragic death of Kobe Byrant caught the entire world by surprise, but Nike is doing its part to both celebrate and extend his legacy with the launch of “Mamba Week.”
Set to begin on August 23, the Los Angeles Lakers legend’s birthday, ESPN reports that the seven-day event will consist of retail launches and programming inspired by his profound impact on the cultural landscape.
During “Mamba Week,” Nike is expected to release several colorways of the Kobe 5 Protro, the sneaker worn by Bryant throughout the 2009-10 NBA season, when he won his fifth championship. One gold-accented version will feature graphics from the pairs he wore during the 2010 Finals, and a trio of collaboration colorways with L.A.-based boutique Undefeated will celebrate his upcoming Hall of Fame induction.
The brand will also be releasing Lakers jerseys featuring both his No. 8 and No. 24, with the front of the jersey celebrating the first decade of his career and his second number featured on the back.
Additionally, Yahoo reports that “Mamba Week” will include a $1 million donation to the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation and Nike lending its support to the Mamba League. The Mamba League was created in 2017 as a partnership between Nike, Bryant and local Boys & Girls Clubs in Los Angeles. Per Yahoo, it “brings together girls and boys as well as engages female coaches as a way for all to learn the fundamentals of the game and the life lessons that accompany it.”
“Mamba Week” will also celebrate the impact and importance of Bryant’s infamous “Mamba Mentality” and the “relentless work ethic that fans of all backgrounds and regions can relate to and aspire to incorporate into their lives.”
Bryant’s birthday typically falls during the NBA’s offseason, but with the league in the midst of the playoffs due to the NBA restart, several yet-to-be-revealed players will be rocking Kobe’s signature sneakers as part of Nike’s week-long tribute.
Nike won’t be the only one celebrating Bryant’s birthday either, as officials in Orange County announced that August 24 will officially become Kobe Bryant Day, according to CNN.
“A treasured member of our Orange County community, Kobe Bryant was the basketball legend that inspired so many young men and women to pursue their dreams and never give up,” Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Michelle Steel said. “I’m proposing August 24 to be dedicated to the memory of Kobe Bryant, and all that he brought to Orange County community, which to (sic) strive to live by his words of encouraging those around us to never give up on their dreams. The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great in whatever they want to do.”
Much respect to Nike and Orange County for holding down one of the greatest players in the history of professional sports.