words // Brandon Richard
When Michael Jordan was preparing to make his exit from the NBA, Kobe Bryant was just getting his feet underneath him, so we weren’t really afforded an opportunity to watch the two all-time greats square off during their respective primes. However, the two were involved in a memorable one-on-one match-up during the 1998 NBA All-Star Game at Madison Square Garden, where MJ led the Eastern Conference against Kobe, Shaq and the Western All-Stars.
In an encounter that pitted teacher vs. student, it was the elder who walked away with the upper hand. With Bryant making it a point to check him, Jordan executed his usual post-Air era arsenal of fadeaway jumpers to drop an appropriate 23 points on the youngster. He also added 8 assists, 6 rebounds and 3 steals on the night. Bryant, valiant in his effort, dropped 18 points of his own and pulled down 6 rebounds. After leading the East to a 135-114 victory, Jordan took home his third and last NBA All-Star Game MVP.
What’s significant about that game as it pertains to today is that the shoes Kobe wore for the 1998 All-Star game have finally been reissued after years of anticipation. A flashback to Bryant’s days as an adidas Basketball athlete, the All-Star adidas Crazy 8 (re-branded KB8) features a black leather upper with Los Angeles Lakers-inspired purple and gold accenting throughout. Available now along with several other new adidas Crazy 8 colorways.
Available now: adidas Crazy 8 1998 All-Star