With the NBA season poised to start in just a matter of days the outlook for the Lakers — and Kobe Bryant in particular — looks unpromising, if not outright grim. Aside from the failed Chris Paul trade that had the league’s best point guard settling in with the Clippers just down the hall at the Staples Center, there’s a new coach to contend with, along with a new offensive system to learn, and team chemistry in seeming shambles. Kobe himself is taking his weary 33-year-old body into its sixteenth season, with basketball mileage clocking in at an impressive 40,145 career minutes (Kobe was just 17 when he entered the league in 1997), not to mention the mental and emotional strain of an impending divorce. And though the Lakers appeared sluggish in their loss to the Clippers in a preseason game this past Monday, it would be foolish to count the Black Mamba out, and premature to coronate Chris Paul and Blake Griffin as L.A.’s preeminent basketball heroes. After all, Kobe’s the one with five NBA championships rings, numerous individual scoring accolades and a new signature sneaker from Nike that’s so advanced it’s called the Kobe VII System Supreme. The “system” refers to two types of inserts, one that’s built for a speed-based style of play, the other offering extra stability and cushioning for a strong interior game. Dressed in an appealing Del Sol colorway, the shoe is scheduled to drop December 22nd at Nike retailers like Encino’s Primitive.
Release Date: December 22nd, 2011 (Thursday) | 11 am PST