Last July, a source familiar with Adidas’ upcoming releases told Complex that the brand planned to release two of the sneakers that Kobe Bryant wore when he was signed to the label in the late 90s and early 2000s. Today Adidas confirmed the report with official images of the Kobe 1, Bryant’s first signature shoe with the brand.
Essentially a replica of the original model from 2001 – worn by Black Mamba himself during this year’s NBA All-Star Game – the sneaker features a predominantly yellow upper, black bootie and recognizable shell toe. For any fan, it’s clear the retro shoes are Kobe’s, but without the approval of the Bryant estate, Adidas must market the kicks without the late basketball player’s name. As a result, the Kobe 1 is now known as the Crazy 1 – symbolic of how sneakerheads will act once the shoe drops.
Crazy 4 Kobe — Inspired by the Audi TT Roadster sports car, the sneaker features a chunky upper adorned in a ‘Sunshine’ Yellow color scheme. Black nylon equips the tongue and heels while a gray EVA foam midsole adds an extra piece to the sole. There’s no Kobe-beckoning branding on the Crazy 1 – there never was, even when it was called the Kobe 1 – but Adidas’ Three Stripes logo is etched into the sides of the shoe. Expect more “if you know, you know” hype to surround the upcoming sneakers.
Adidas has yet to announce when exactly the Crazy 1 will release, although it’s slated to release in April to coincide with the McDonald’s All-American Game. The sneaker will (unofficially) be Kobe’s first signature silhouette to be relaunched in about a year’s time: After Vanessa Bryant allowed her late husband’s contract with Nike to expire in 2021, the company bungled their partnership, proceeding to manufacturing, distribution, and remember a Nike Kobe 6 Protro “Mambacita” sneaker that wasn’t even made for production.
Obviously, the lack of respect for the brand prevented the Bryant estate from participating in any further deals with the brand, quickly destroying any hope that a new Kobe shoe would ever emerge. Vanessa, however, has since launched her own ‘Mambacita’ brand to perform future commemorative drops – and while not technically approved, Adidas’ Crazy 1 “Sunshine” sneaker is a sweet surprise for Lakers fans. That is, if they can score a pair.