The Kobe 5: Behind the biggest sneaker tribute in basketball NBA and WNBA players share their journeys wearing Kobe Bryant’s shoe this year

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Ten years ago, on Oct. 26, 2010, the Los Angeles Lakers celebrated opening night of the 2010-11 NBA season by hoisting the franchise’s 16th championship banner — one they earned by defeating the Boston Celtics in the 2010 Finals.

During the pregame ceremony, each Lakers player received his championship ring. The last player to take the floor at Staples Center was the reigning Finals MVP. Or, as his teammate Derek Fisher introduced him: “The world’s best basketball player, Mr. Kobe Bryant.”

Bryant stepped onto the court in the “5 Rings” Nike Zoom Kobe 5, a special color-shifting edition of the signature sneaker he wore throughout the 2010 Finals, which Nike presented him and released to commemorate his fifth, and ultimately final, NBA championship.

A decade later, the “5 Rings” Kobe 5 returned, exclusively on the feet of Lakers star Anthony Davis in Games 3 and 4 of the 2020 Finals, inside the NBA bubble in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. During the league’s restart amid the global COVID-19 pandemic, en route to another Lakers title, the 6-foot-10 Davis wore more pairs of low-top Kobe 5s than any other player, capping off what will forever be remembered as the…


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