Tuesday May 17th, 2016

Kicks and Colors spotlights the variety of colorways—and the stories that go with—that brands unveil in key basketball sneakers.

Brand: Nike

Sneaker: Kobe 11

Signature athlete: Kobe Bryant

Colorway: Muse Pack (Mark Parker)

Story: Kobe Bryant sneaker designer Eric Avar had his shot. Then legendary designer Tinker Hatfield. The final installment of the Kobe 11 Muse Pack comes from Nike president and CEO Mark Parker. Kobe and Parker first worked together in 2003, when Kobe singed with Nike and appeared in the Nike Huarache 2K4, a shoe designed by Avar, Parker and Hatfield. The final Muse Pack sneaker comes from Parker’s desire to build on the Black Mamba mantra. Nods to the black mamba snake appears throughout, from a new Flyknit pattern to the laces, tongue and even the shoe’s underbelly. Kobe says he’s thankful for Parker’s desire to grow and learn. “Even though he has a large business to run,” Kobe says, “Mark still takes time to mentor me.”

• MORE NBA: The 2015-16 NBA Season Sneaker Awards 

courtesy Nike

courtesy Nike

courtesy Nike

Tim Newcomb covers sports aesthetics—stadiums to sneakers—and training for Sports Illustrated. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.

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