In celebration of 2013 as the Year of the Snake on the Chinese lunar calendar, Nike introduces a Nike Basketball and Nike Sportswear collection of Chinese zodiac footwear inspired by Kobe Bryant and the Year of the Snake respectively. Ever since Nike unveiled its Year of the Horse collection in 2002, fans have eagerly anticipated new collections based on the Chinese lunar calendar concept. This year marks Nike’s 12th such release and completes a full cycle of the Chinese zodiac.

The Year of the Snake collection includes the KOBE 8 SYSTEM, which draws inspiration from Bryant’s unparalleled on-court skills and his “Black Mamba” on-court alter ego. The Nike Sportswear designs feature signature colors of black, purple, red, and gold with snakeskin-inspired patterns. 2013 corresponds to two characters — 癸巳 (“Gui Si”) — in the Chinese sexagenary cycle (a cycle of sixty terms used for recording days or years). The Chinese seal pattern composed of a snake and the two characters 癸巳 (“Gui Si”) incorporates the serpentine shape into an embroidered seal making this collection particularly unique.

NIKE KOBE 8 BLACK
The NIKE KOBE 8 BLACK in snake print is exclusively designed for the Year of the Snake. It is made of black leather in snake print to echo Kobe’s Black Mamba nickname and symbolizes his aggressiveness on the court

NIKE KOBE 8 RED
NIKE KOBE 8 RED is the off-court version of the KOBE 8 SYSTEM. The Year of the Snake model is made of red suede for the Chinese New Year. The one-piece design uses Vac-Tech and laser-etching technologies, which gives the shoe a clean-cut look that is consistent with previous Kobe collections. The etchings on the outsole combine timeless herringbone and snake scale patterns.


KOBE 8 SYSTEM
The KOBE 8 SYSTEM incorporates innovative Nike Engineered Mesh for the first time in a basketball shoe to offer a dynamic and ultra-lightweight fit. Additionally, the synthetic overlays on the toe and lateral quarter panel provide support for even the toughest games. The full-length Lunarlon midsole delivers lightweight, low profile cushioning and stability. A snake graphic shoe tongue provides a close fit and comfort. In connection with the victories of the Purple and Gold Dynasty led by Kobe, the KOBE 8 SYSTEM Year of the Snake special edition is inspired by the Chinese kung-fu representing Kobe’s bold, aggressive style on the court. The four icons on the outsole stand for Kobe’s speed, precision, vision and versatility. The color red symbolizes danger and the destructive power of Kobe’s speed. The snakeskin pattern on the shoe is a perfect interpretation of Kobe’s on-court alter ego, the Black Mamba.