Footage of a 20-year-old Kobe Bryant wowing basketball fans at an Adidas event in Phillippines has emerged.
One of the biggest crowd-pleasers in the history of the game, young Kobe Bryant was the talk of LA. He made the All Star team in 1998 despite only playing as a sixth man due to his hops and ability to score at will. He was then signed to Adidas, and his sneaker line received a lot of attention at the time.
Kobe would emerge as a world-beater in the years to follow, and he showed Filipinos a glimpse of his ability in this sneaker promotion tour.
New footage of Kobe’s Philippines tour of 1998 showcases his extraordinary skills
Kobe won the Slam Dunk contest as a rookie. During his afro years, Bryant was easily one of the top 5 most athletic players in the league. In addition to having every scoring skill in his toolbox, he had unlimited stamina. Bryant was put to great use by Phil Jackson later as a lockdown defender.
In this clip, however, you will see his athletic prowess and ability to break ankles. Even though they got embarassed, you can tell the players on the court trying to guard him are in awe at his magnificent leaping ability.
(1998) Kobe Bryant showing off his skill-case in the Philippines! pic.twitter.com/z6yiDaeigw
— Hoops Department (@hoopsdepartment) November 11, 2020
We will never see another Kobe. 🙌🏾 https://t.co/Aa4wH5nPHm
— 🏁 Jamal Crawford (@JCrossover) November 11, 2020
Bryant makes his crossover moves look effortless in this footage. The tightness of his handles even at that age was something to admire.
Kobe never lost his ability to wow the crowds. His game was built from the ground up not just to score efficiently, but also to look aesthetically pleasing. There are few signature moves in basketball history as pleasing to the eye as a Bryant fadeaway or a crossover.
Kobe would later sign with Nike, but he started building his legend in Asia during his days with Adidas.