The Nike Kobe A.D. "Compton" Has an Unexpected Backstory

It involves DeMar DeRozan and the '97 NBA playoffs
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It involves DeMar DeRozan and the '97 NBA playoffs
Image via: Nike

Image via: Nike

Nike is set to drop the Kobe A.D. "Compton," inspired by DeMar DeRozan's memory of watching Kobe Bryant play against Utah in the 1997 playoffs. Specifically, it was Game 5 of the series that would have a major impact on the Toronto Raptors star. The "airball game" would see an 18-year-old Bryant launch four separate shots that touched nothing but air. Bryant would later characterize the abysmal shooting performance as a turning point in his nascent career. For a young DeRozan, the game would serve as a pointed reminder that resilience is a key element for eventual success on the court.

The date of the game -- May 12, 1997 -- is immortalized on the Kobe A.D.'s lace tips, while an image of DeRozan's childhood neighborhood in Compton is printed on the sockliner. Finally, Kobe's DNA symbol and signature are inscribed on the heel tabs, following the color scheme of the Utah Jazz.

Retailing for $160, the Nike Kobe A.D. "Compton" launches April 12th at nike.com.

Release Date: 4/12/17 (Wednesday)