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Devin Booker Auctioning Game-worn Kobe 4s for the Mamba & Mambacita Foundation

D-Book is benefitting Kobe Bryant’s legacy through one of his most coveted PEs — the Nike Kobe 4 pair he wore to close out the Lakers in the 2021 NBA Playoffs.

Now locked in with the Swoosh on a new long-term Nike extension, Phoenix Suns superstar Devin Booker has been a staple headliner of the brand’s Kobe Bryant sneaker series since first entering the NBA out of the University of Kentucky in 2015.

As he continued to make a name for himself early on as one of the league’s most prolific scorers, he also received one of the loftiest co-signs in the sneaker game – the ability to create his own player exclusive colorways of the Black Mamba’s celebrated signature series.

Through the years, Booker has broken out everything from purple patent pairs of Kobe’s first namesake model, to new looks of the Kobe 5 and 6, often in matching Phoenix Suns hues.

But without a doubt, the most beloved pair he keeps going back to is the “bright violet” and grey speckled midsole PE version of the Nike Kobe 4 he wore throughout the Suns’ 2021 run to the NBA Finals.

During Booker’s final on-court battle with Bryant towards the end of the 2015-16 season, Bryant autographed and gifted his own Kobe 11 sneakers to Booker, with an additional inscription and challenge:

“Be Legendary.”

After Bryant’s tragic passing in 2020, Booker began a new ritual, penning the phrase onto his own Kobe sneakers before each game. He even got the phrase tattooed on his forearm.

“The biggest thing for me was earning his respect,” Booker told the Arizona Republic after Bryant’s passing. “To even be the guy in the room after we play them that he wanted to talk to or share advice with. Then our relationship had grown from there.”

The “bright violet” shoes also recently appeared once again in illustration form, when Booker covered the newest edition of NBA 2K23.

Image via @DBook on Instagram

While he’s had a full rotation of that colorway at his disposal since Nike produced a batch of size 14.5 pairs for him during the fall of 2019, Booker has teamed up with Shopify and Definitive Authentic to auction off one pair in particular.

The exact Kobe 4 PE that he was wearing when the Suns closed out the Los Angeles Lakers in the opening round of the 2021 Playoffs is now up for auction, with current bids already topping $33,000, with time remaining.

He dropped a playoff career-high 47 points in them for good measure — but his sole focus is on their namesake and his daughter.

“This is all in support of the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation,” said Booker of the nonprofit founded by the family’s estate in honor of Kobe and Gianna Bryant.

In addition to the “Be Legendary” inscription at the time, Booker has included additional penmanship along each toe to further commemorate the sneakers and add to the detailing: 

  • Right sneaker handwritten messaging: “Be Legendary”, Devin Booker (signature) #1, Close Out vs. LAL, 47 pts 11r 3a
  • Left sneaker handwritten messaging: “Be Legendary”, #mambamentality, Devin Booker (signature) #1, “6/3/21” 

At the helm of the foundation, Vanessa Bryant and the Kobe Bryant Estate have used a series of fundraising product releases and donations to refurbish basketball courts and host basketball skills clinics throughout the country, all in tribute to the late Kobe and “Gigi.”

With bidding possibly topping $50,000 for these game-worn kicks, Booker hopes to help add to the impact that the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation continues to make across the broader hoops community.

“Before I even knew him personally, he had shaped my life, my basketball career,” Booker said. “My approach to everything.”

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