The Kobe Adidas Retro sneakers are released in 2022, the Crazy 1 and Crazy 97
Adidas plans to re-release two of the sneakers Kobe Bryant wore while under contract with the German sportswear brand in the late 1990s and early 2000s, sources familiar with the list told Complex. upcoming releases of the brand. In 2022, he will bring back the Kobe 1, his signature Adidas from 2001, and the EQT Elevation, a shoe he wore during his 1997 rookie season in the NBA.
Kobe Bryant’s sneaker releases came under scrutiny following the death of the Los Angeles Lakers icon in January 2020. Some consumers felt that Nike, the sneaker brand to which Bryant is the most associated, hasn’t done enough to make his shoes available, and his estate has yet to strike a new deal with the company since Bryant’s last expired earlier this year.
Even when Bryant was still alive and signed to Nike, Adidas brought back his old shoes without actually using his name. It looks like the brand will take a similar approach for these upcoming retros and market the shoes in a way that references him without using his name or image. As on previous retro models, the Kobe 1 will be called the Crazy 1 and the EQT Elevation will be called the Crazy 97 EQT. Barring some sort of partnership with Bryant’s estate, Adidas will likely seek to avoid mentions of the basketball legend that are too explicit in the sneaker rollout.
Adidas did not announce the sneakers and a spokesperson declined to comment for the story. The images that appear here are leaks not authorized by the brand.
A brand document seen by Complex shows that Adidas plans to release two versions of the Crazy 97 for next year’s NBA All-Star Game in February. The shoes have special significance for this event: Bryant wore them when he won the 1997 Slam Dunk Contest at that year’s All-Star Game in Cleveland, and next year’s All-Star Game will have held in Cleveland. The shoes will return in the original purple and yellow colourway Bryant wore (style number GY4520) and a new blue and orange inspired by the field and heel of the 1997 NBA All-Star Game ticket (style number GY9125).
The same document lists two upcoming retro colorways of the Crazy 1, Bryant’s bulky signature shoe inspired by the Audi TT. The original yellow “Sunshine” pair are identified as an April 2022 release (style number GY3808) tied to the McDonald’s All-American Game, an all-star event for high school basketball players. The other upcoming colourway shown is the original “Stormtrooper” white and black version (style number GY3810).
Bryant signed with Adidas in 1996, becoming a renowned athlete for the brand even before his professional basketball career began. After his contract expired, he made a new contract with Nike in 2003 after a season of free agency sneakers that saw him wearing a wide range of brands and styles. He remained a Nike athlete for the rest of his professional career and beyond, launching genre-defining shoes and memorable advertising campaigns during his tenure with the Swoosh.