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Revisiting Kobe Bryant’s 9/11 Tribute

As the Lakers tipped off the 2001-02 NBA season, the superstar honored the victims of 9/11 in a way only he could. Boardroom’s Gabe Oshin breaks down how the on-court debut was only the beginning for the iconic footwear.

In 2001, NBA players had limited control over their footwear stylings compared to today’s superstars. However, Kobe Bryant was never content to accept the status quo.

As Bryant and his Lakers teammates kicked off the 2001-02 season at Staples Center on Oct. 30, 2001, the team also celebrated their 2001 NBA Championship. The evening fell just six weeks after the horrific events of 9/11 and the Mamba wanted to pay homage to those who had lost their lives. He worked with iconic sneaker designer Peter Moore to create a version of his car-inspired Adidas silhouette, The Kobe Two.

The shoe’s original developer, Dan Fulton, told Nick DePaula the extended story of how the tribute came together. Just days after the tragedy, Fulton received a call with a special request for Kobe from none other than Moore himself, the designer of the Air Jordan 1. They collaborated to quickly turn an aspirational vision into reality.

However, the legend of the stars and stripes design did not end with the on-court debut by Bryant himself. In fact, it was only getting started.

Boardroom’s Gabe Oshin revisits this little-known story.

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