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What is Kobe’s Logo?

Player Logos are an interesting eco system in the NBA. Growing in number and importance with the rise of social media and the increased understanding players have of themselves as a brand. They can sometimes mark the phases of someone career, like in the case of Kobe Bryant.

What is Kobe’s Logo? Kobe had 3 distinct logos during his career. These can clearly mark out the different branding phases he went through. The side profile of his distinctive head become known as “The Frobe” and marks his time signed to Adidas. The second known as “The Sheath” is still used on much of his Basketball merchandise today and marks his relationship with Nike. The final is known as “The Hourglass” and denotes his move into business after his retirement.

Like most things in Kobe’s career, the visual logo we see on the surface is just part of the story. Below we look a bit deeper and try and understand the thought process or circumstances that drove these changes and find what if anything it has to do with the movie ‘Kill Bill’.

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Kobe Logo Adidas

“The Frobe” is a popular term used to describe the period Kobe Bryant sported his then trademark afro hair style. It is also a term used to describe his first logo; this became associated with his time with Adidas. “The Frobe” first appeared on ‘The Kobe’ range of Basketball shoes that replaced the KB8 range at the start of the century. This would also coincide with Kobe’s rise to prominence within the NBA.

It is often an overlooked fact that Kobe didn’t come into the league a born superstar like current Lakers players Lebron James or Anthony Davis. Drafted 13th overall by the Charlotte Hornets he was immediately traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, where he would spend the entirety of his 20-year career. Pre-Afro Kobe would slowly find his way into the league. His first two seasons saw him coming off the bench, averaging just 15mins per game his rookie season and 26 per game the following year. The Lakers were strong in these years, finishing with a 56-26 and 61-21 record. Both seasons they would lose to the Utah Jazz who would famously go on to face Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in the Finals both years. You can get Kobe’s Jersey for those first two seasons at the NBA Store, just click here(link takes you to the Fanatics Store).

Kobe Bryant and MJ

His third season was the shortened lockout year. He would start all of the Lakers 50 games, averaging 40mins and 20pts a game as the Lakers powered to a 31-19 record, losing to the eventual Champions the San Antonio Spurs led by David Robinson and rookie Tim Duncan. Kobe had arrived and would become one of the best-known names on and off the court over the next 20 years. The following season Phil Jackson arrived after a year break from coaching that had been preceded by a Bulls 3 peat. The Lakers would seem untouchable for the next 3 years, winning a three-peat of their own.

His third season was the shortened lockout year. He would start all of the Lakers 50 games, averaging 40mins and 20pts a game as the Lakers powered to a 31-19 record, losing to the eventual Champions the San Antonio Spurs led by David Robinson and rookie Tim Duncan. Kobe had arrived and would become one of the best-known names on and off the court over the next 20 years. The following season Phil Jackson arrived after a year break from coaching that had been preceded by a Bulls 3 peat. The Lakers would seem untouchable for the next 3 years, winning a three-peat of their own.

Kobe Bryant Adidas Logo

Kobe Logo Nike

“The Sheath” logo would come to represent Kobe’s time with Nike and go on to serve as his Basketball logo for the rest of his time in the NBA and beyond. His signing to Nike was delayed due to some off-court troubles in the media and some legal issues. During this time the Lakers juggernaut would start to falter. With Shaq and Kobe’s relationship strained. The 2004/05 season saw

the departure of Shaq. Kobe would now have to strike out on his own, proving his an all-time great. Now with his trademark afro replaced with the tight crop he sported his rookie year; he would have to dig deep. Eventually rebranding himself, changing number from 8 to 24 for the 2007/08 season. A narrow defeat to the Boston Celtics in the Finals that year heralded the Lakers return to the top. Winning the next two titles Kobe would prove he could be the main man. This propelled his Sheath Logo and partnership with Nike over the top. His merchandise to this day is some of the most sought after. Kobe is a household name around the world.

If you are considering buying a Kobe Bryant jersey, then we recommend purchasing the jersey from the official NBA retailer, Fanatics. Clicking the link will take you through to the Fanatics website.

Kobe Bryant Nike Logo

Business Kobe Logo

“The Hour Glass”. Never one to stand still. Kobe immediately started launching new projects almost as soon as the dust settled on his final NBA game, in which he put up an INSANE 60pts. Trademarking his new ‘Hour Glass’ logo that resembles an 8 silhouetted in the letters ‘K’ and ‘B’. His business partnership with Jeff Stibel looks set to become one of his key sources of revenue following his retirement. Although the business has its own, more corporate logo to represent the joint venture of ‘Bryant Stibel’ the Hour Glass represents Kobe as an individual in all his ventures.

His other ventures include his “Detail” work with ESPN. Where he applies his vast basketball mind to breaking down, plays, styles and entire games from some of the game’s greatest players. It is essential viewing for any true basketball fan. He’s also casually won an Oscar for his animated short, “Dear

Basketball” and branched out into writing inspirational fiction novels for young adults with his “Wizenard Series”. I’m not even going to get into his “Muse Cage” let’s just say Kobe is a man of many talents.

Kobe and Kill Bill

One really interesting thing to note about Kobe’s Sheath Logo was documented in a blog post from 2007. It draws parallels with Kobe’s sheath design and the logo on the hilt of Beatrix Kiddo’s sword. In Esquire around the same time Kobe provided the following back ground on the Sheath Logo:

“Kobe’s logo, which you will hear more about in the coming years, is called the Sheath. It is drawn to resemble the sheath of a samurai’s sword. The sword is the raw talent, Kobe explains. The sheath is the package it’s kept in — everything you go through, your calluses and your baggage, what you learn.”

Clearly drawing parallels to his logo and the samurai culture. The big kicker? Beatrix Kiddo’s codename in the films was… “Black Mamba”

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