Kobe Bryant has worked hard to emulate Michael Jordan over the years. Now he can do so without trying.
Jordan on Friday gave Bryant a pair of sneakers from every “Air Jordan” line ever produced as a retirement gift. Jordan Brands president Larry Miller presented Bryant the full set at a ceremony in Toronto as part of the NBA’s All-Star Weekend festivities, according to Nike and USA Today’s Mike Bohn.
Jumpman brands, a Nike subsidiary which Jordan fronts, also announced the gift on Twitter.
“The Jordan Brand is about more than basketball, it’s about leaving a legacy and honoring those who have left a legacy,” Miller said. “Tonight the brand was able to honor one of the games great players and the legacy he created.”
Jordan’s gift to Bryant includes every version from I through XXX in both plain white and all black. Jordan also threw in pairs of Air Jordan III and Air Jordan VIII, which Bryant wore during the 2002-03 season, in the Los Angeles Lakers’ purple and gold colors.
Bryant gratefully accepted Jordan’s gift, reminding the public of the time and distances he has traveled to greatness.
“(Michael Jordan) and I have had such a beautiful relationship since I first came into the league, and he’s really been a big brother to me really throughout this entire journey,” Bryant said. “I told him, ‘You have no idea how much I worked to try to find a pair of these shoes when I was in high-school.’ Now I have the whole collection, which is pretty sweet.”
Bryant should have no problem choosing what sneakers to wear as his legendary NBA career winds down.
Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@Eurosport_UK