Kobe Bryant aka the ‘Black Mamba’ is famous throughout the NBA. Even people who aren’t into professional basketball know about this sports celebrity. But one thing that separates this athlete from many other players in the league is his logo.
Kobe Bryant’s logo represents a sword in a sheath. The design is an abstract geometric shape with six segments. Although it works well in a plain black look, this logo is now seen with many different color combinations, depending on certain graphic design requirements.
Where did Kobe’s logo come from? How did Kobe Bryant think of this design? Here, you’ll take a deeper dive into the origins of Kobe Bryant’s logo, along with other relevant information.
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What is the History of Kobe Bryant’s Logo?
Born in 1978, Kobe Bryant is a famous NBA All-Star player that carried the Los Angeles Lakers to win many games. He garnered many achievements throughout his reasonably long professional basketball career. In turn, it’s no surprise that this NBA celebrity has a logo to help with his branding.
However, the popular Kobe Bryant ‘sword in the sheath’ logo didn’t appear overnight. It went through different renditions before it arrived at its final design.
Kobe Logo Adidas
The phrase “The Frobe” was coined to represent the time when Kobe Bryant wore his then-signature afro hairstyle. It’s also the name of his debut emblem, which became synonymous with his tenure with Adidas. “The Frobe” debuted on the ‘The Kobe’ basketball shoe line, which succeeded the KB8 line at the turn of the century. Kobe’s rise to popularity in the NBA would also coincide with this.
It’s sometimes forgotten that unlike current Lakers stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis, Kobe didn’t enter the game as a natural superstar. After being selected 13th overall by the Charlotte Hornets, he was moved to the Los Angeles Lakers, where he would play for the rest of his 20-year career. Kobe would gradually make his way into the league before to the Afro. He spent his first two seasons on the bench, averaging only 15 minutes per game his rookie season and 26 minutes per game the following season. The Lakers were quite good in both years, going 56-26 and 61-21 respectively.
They would lose both seasons to the Utah Jazz, who would go on to face Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in the NBA Finals. You can purchase Kobe’s first two seasons’ jersey from the NBA Store by clicking here.
Kobe Logo Nike
The “Sheath” design would come to symbolize Kobe’s time with Nike, and would later become his Basketball logo for the rest of his NBA career and beyond. Due to various off-court concerns in the media and legal issues, his contract with Nike was delayed. During this time, the Lakers’ unstoppable force began to fade. The connection between Shaq and Kobe is strained. Shaq left the team after the 2004/05 season. Kobe would now have to prove himself as an all-time great on his own.
He’d have to dig deep now that his characteristic afro had been replaced by the tight crop he wore his first year. For the 2007/08 season, he rebranded himself, changing his number from 8 to 24. The Lakers’ return to the top was signaled by a narrow loss in the Finals to the Boston Celtics that year. Kobe’s ability to be the main man would be demonstrated if he won the next two titles. This catapulted his Sheath Logo and Nike connection to new heights. To this day, his goods are some of the most sought after. Kobe Bryant is a well-known figure all around the world.
If you’re thinking about getting a Kobe Bryant jersey, we recommend going with the official NBA retailer, Fanatics.
The Kobe Bryant Frobe Logo
Many basketball enthusiasts remember Bryant with no hair on his head. The bald NBA player used to sport an afro hairstyle, and this was the look of his first logo.
At the time when Bryant still had hair, Adidas partnered with him for a range of basketball shoes. The sports gear company imprinted ‘The Frobe,’ which was the name for Bryant’s logo. Its appearance depicts an outline or silhouette of Bryant as he was rocking the afro.
Despite Bryant’s partnership with Adidas lasting for roughly four years, this particular sports company was able to create and market different Kobe Bryant-styled shoes. The Adidas footwear released with Kobe’s name, and sometimes his logo on it include:
- Adidas Kobe Bryant: KB8
- Adidas Kobe Bryant: KB8 II
- Adidas KB8 III
- Adidas Kobe Bryant: The KOBE
- Adidas Kobe Bryant: KOBE TWO
The Kobe Bryant Sheath Logo
Bryant partnered with Nike after ending his contract with Adidas. Therefore, it was apparent to have alterations to the logo to signify the change. Also, using the same logo on a rival sportswear company can get Bryant and Nike in a lot of legal trouble.
After The Frobe, Kobe’s logo became ‘The Sheath.’ Instead of using the NBA player’s outline or silhouette, this new logo has a geometric design.
The Sheath has six segments, representing a sword. At first, the logo’s original palette was monochrome. However, different iterations and renditions appeared over the years to suit different graphic design needs.
For example, some Amazon shops alter the logo’s design by adding some elements to fit specific themes. T-shirts would sport a black mamba snake, which, of course, is one of Bryant’s famous nicknames. Further, some apparels would change the logo’s original monochrome motif to a brighter shade, such as yellow or bronze. In turn, the design is visible from afar.
It was in 2003 when Bryant signed the deal with Nike. He also became one of the Nike elites that would get a personalized shoe line, much like another NBA legend Michael Jordan.
Like Adidas, Bryant helped market different Kobe-themed shoes for Nike. Some of the footwear he advertised and wore even had his signature geometric logo. Here are some Nike shoes under Kobe Bryant’s personal line:
- Nike Air Zoom Huarache 2k5
- Nike Zoom Kobe I through VIII
- Nike HyperDunk Kobe
- Nike Zoom Kobe Venomenom
- Nike Kobe X
After the passing of this famous NBA star, Nike continued to release footwear under Bryant’s name. The international sportswear company released shoes like the Nike Kobe AD, which stands for After Death.
Kobe Bryant’s Hourglass Logo
Although Bryant’s Sheath logo stands out in his personal line of footwear, ‘The Hourglass’ can be seen when the player handles the business side of his career.
At first, this logo looks like an ordinary hourglass. A closer look will let you see that it resembles the number eight placed in a negative space. Surrounding that number are two letters ‘K’ and ‘B,’ which, of course, stands for Kobe Bryant.
This logo also represents Bryant’s partnership with entrepreneur Jeff Stibel. The two individuals used the logo to create the ‘Bryant Stibel’ joint venture.
Is Kobe Bryant a Kill Bill Fan?
Kill Bill is a film directed by Quentin Tarantino and released in 2003. It starred famous Hollywood celebrities like Uma Thurman, Lucy Liu, and Vivica A. Fox.
Kobe’s logo, particularly ‘The Sheath,’ has a close resemblance to the samurai sword. This geometric shape is also similar to the logo found on the sword of Beatrix Kiddo, also known as ‘The Bride’ in the film and played by Uma Thurman.
It could also mean the other way around as the producers could be a huge fan of Kobe Bryant. The kicker here is that another codename for Uma Thurman’s The Bride in the film was the ‘Black Mamba.’
Kobe Bryant’s logo is different depending on which company he owns or is affiliated with. The Frobe can be seen on the player’s line of Adidas shoes, whereas The Sheath can be seen on different Nike footwear. Finally, The Hourglass is used on the Bryant Stibel venture for the player’s business endeavors.