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Nike Basketball Celebrates Kobe Bryant’s Career on MLK Day With a Jazz Tribute

Nike Kobe Bryant MLK Day Tribute

Nike Basketball is celebrating Kobe Bryant’s career on Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a contribution from Jazz pianist Robert Glasper.

“Be Courageous,” composed by two-time Grammy Award-winning jazz pianist Robert Glasper, celebrates the full breadth of Kobe Bryant’s 20-year career, encapsulating its struggles and soaring high points. The above film explores the Robert Glasper Trio’s creative process and inspiration for the song.

Glasper’s choice of 4/4 and 6/8 time signatures, which define the track’s structure, goes deeper than jazz convention. The numbers align with a significant event in history: the assassination of a great leader on April 4, 1968 (4/4/68) in Memphis, Tennessee, at the Lorraine Motel. Additionally, Glasper draws inspiration from the city’s rich musical heritage — including pioneering labels like Stax Records, whose artists frequented the Lorraine Motel, which itself was a catalyst for community growth and support.

The story also inspires the Nike Kobe 11 BHM 4468 shoe, which features an emblematic record on the tongue and other details connecting to the musical storyline. The shoe, part of the larger 2016 Black History Month Collection, is available now.

Brian Betschart
Founder and Editor of SF, Brian is considered an expert when it comes to sneakers. Collecting since he was in elementary school, his collection has grown to over 500 pairs and counting. Brian has published articles since 2004, and in 2006, he decided to create Sneaker Files.

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