Kobe Bryant isn’t Michael Jordan. I think we know that. And while there are still legitimate arguments to be made about their individual skills, the relevant fact in this instance is that Kobe Bryant’s sneaker legacy has no chance of ever touching Mike’s. Jordan has three or four different silhouettes that are consistently included among the greatest basketball sneakers ever whereas the Mamba’s Nike sigs often came up just short. Jordan birthed much of what the shoe game is all about nowadays. Without Jordan, sneaker blogs aren’t the same, Instagram isn’t the same, the entire sneaker market isn’t the same.
But, despite some struggles to gain true crossover appeal off the basketball court, KB’s signature sneakers aren’t too shabby, and as he enters what could be the final year of his career, I know what you’re asking yourself: “Dang, why didn’t I cop more of his kicks over the years?”
It’s too bad you aren’t @jefferrrson. The San Diego resident estimates his collection at around 70 sneakers and many are rare Bryant shoes that always impress the nearly 3,000 people who follow him on Instagram. Born in the Philippines, @jefferrrson’s been going hard in the game since the early months of 2009, back when he copped the “Carpe Diem” colorway of the famed Nike Zoom Kobe IV.
“I still remember it like it was yesterday,” the 25-year-old wrote to me via email. “I walked in, bought the sneakers, came to my car, and took them out of the box one last time before leaving the parking lot. At that moment, I fell in love. Sounds cliché and corny, but it’s what got me from a couple of basic sneakers, to a closet full of sneakers.”
We’ve profiled people with entire basements reserved for Air Jordans. We’ve profiled people who have been in this game for decades. We’ve profiled gigantic LeBron James fans. But I’m not sure we’ve ever profiled someone with as large a Kobe Bryant collection as @jefferrrson.
Follow Sean on Twitter at @seanesweeney
images via @jefferrrson