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How Kobe Bryant influenced Giannis Antetokounmpo’s new signature shoe

NBA, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kobe Bryant

NBA superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo is releasing his second signature shoe: The Zoom Freak 2, one that borrows heavily from the sneaker legacy that the late Kobe Bryant left during his time with Nike.

The Milwaukee Bucks star has been known to be a fan of the Kobe line of sneakers as well as close to the former five-time champion during their playing days. While their sneaker lines are vastly different in design, they’re incredibly similar as far as the approach is concerned:

“I went back with Kobe since I was 15 or 16. Our schools played against each other,” Giannis Antetokounmpo told Sports Illustrated.

Much like Bryant, the belief that every shoe iteration should show an improvement over the past one has not been lost in Antetokounmpo, who has worked closely with engineers to maximize the technology and comfort of his signature shoes.

The Zoom Freak 2 celebrates Antetokounmpo’s Nigerin roots, a product Nike called a “Creative Family Collective”. The reigning MVP was joined by his brothers Thanasis (Bucks), Kostas (Los Angeles Lakers), and Alex, as the four sat throughout meetings with Nike and gave their input into the design.

They honored their parents, Charles and Veronica, The words “I am my father’s legacy” are inscribed into the sockline, while the traction sole has a print of their roots and Antetokounmpo’s journey into the NBA.

Antetokounmpo was the first NBA player born and raised in Europe who mustered a signature shoe with Nike. He could soon be followed by Luka Doncic, who signed with Jordan Brand last year and could soon get the signature sneaker treatment.