Kobe Bryant unveiled his latest signature shoe on Wednesday (Thursday morning Manila time), and the new sneaker had more than a little Filipino flavor.
The Los Angeles Lakers superstar revealed in an interview with Bleacher Report that the design of the issue was inspired by Filipino fight icon Manny Pacquiao.
“I was with Pacquiao, watching him train and prepare for a fight, and I’m looking down and I’m looking at his boxing shoe, and I said, ‘Man that’s hmmm… I wanna do something there,” said Bryant.
Unlike the low-cut style of his previous signature shoes, the new sneakers feature a high-top design similar to boxing boots.
Nike unveils the Kobe 9 Elite, available for $225 on 2/8 pic.twitter.com/g5I7zKGK27
— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) December 4, 2013
Bryant and Pacquiao spent time together in November 2011 ahead of the boxer’s third match with Juan Manuel Marquez that year. The hotshot guard hung out with the fighter at the Wild Card Gym.