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The History Of The Nike Kobe 4

The Nike Zoom Kobe 4 is possibly the most popular silhouette in the Nike and Kobe partnership. It is an influential shoe for not just the Kobe line, but also the sneaker industry. Learn more about the Nike Zoom Kobe IV below.


Kobe Bryant came to the designer of the IV, Eric Avar, with a simple request, he wanted the lowest and lightest basketball shoe possible. Avar looked to soccer for inspiration when it came to the Kobe IV design. Bryant had a love for soccer, which made the inspiration exciting for him.

Lower Cut

The widespread assumption when it comes to basketball shoes had always been the higher the better. A high top sneaker was needed on the basketball court, to protect the ankles and legs of players. Avar wanted to prove with the IV that you could make a low profile shoe, and still offer a lot of support. Soccer players traditionally have worn low top sneakers, and support had never been an issue for them. Avar wanted to emulate a soccer shoe with the Kobe 4. The 4 changed the sneaker game forever with its low top cut and the use of Flywire technology. The Kobe IV would be released in 2008.

nike kobe 4

Finals Win & MVP

The Kobe and Shaq rivalry eventually made it impossible for them to remain teammates. Shaq would leave the Lakers in 2004. Kobe was now the top player on the Los Angeles Lakers. He struggled for a while to lead the Lakers to the success he wanted. In 2009, with the IV on his feet, Kobe Bryant led his Los Angeles Lakers to a Finals win over the Orlando Magic. Kobe proved he could lead a team to a ring, the same way Shaq did. His leadership allowed him to win his first Finals MVP Trophy.

Kobe Bean Bryant

Kobe Bean Bryant was born on August 23, 1978. He is from Philadelphia. Kobe is the son of former NBA player, Joe “Jellybean” Bryant. Kobe spent much of his youth in Italy. His father, after ending his career in the NBA, played in the Italian League starting in 1984. Kobe Bryant grew up around the game in Italy. The game was a passion for him at an early age. He embraced the Italian culture, learning the language and accepting its way of life.

Coming to America

Kobe’s family would return to the United States in 1991. Kobe would play basketball for Lower Merion High School. He was such an incredible talent, that early in high school he was planning to go straight to the pros. He was playing in scrimmage games against the Philadelphia 76ers as a teenager.


Kobe Bryant was selected by the Charlotte Hornets with the 13 overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft. Kobe entered the draft straight out of high school. His youth is probably why he went so low in the draft. He was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers right after being drafted by Charlotte.


- Adam C. Better

kobe 2009 finals