The Air Jordan 9 Retro “Kobe” Is Releasing Exactly One Year Too Late


The Jordan Brand will be honoring the great Kobe Bryant with a sneaker release this weekend in the form of a Laker-themed Air Jordan 9 retro, dubbed “Tour Yellow.”

It’s an idea that makes perfect sense no matter how you slice it, as celebrating Black Mamba under the incomparable, bulletproof umbrella that is the Jordan Brand was an absolute no-brainer.

And I must say, the final product turned out pretty well too. Though in the spirit of nitpicking, it does annoy me to an unreasonable degree that the Jumpman logo on the left shoe has apparently been drinking and gone rogue, opting to dunk on the wrong hoop.

via Nike

However, there is one rather significant blunder that Nike managed to make throughout the course of whatever the hell this seemingly painstaking process entailed: TIMING.

As you know, just a year ago today, Kobe’s grand farewell tour was roughly 12 games into a season that would be capped by a legendary walk-off on his home court, sending the Laker faithful and half the world into a frenzy after dropping an astonishing 60 points against Utah in his final game.

So is it crazy to think releasing this shoe during Kobe’s officially announced final season would have made far more financial sense for Nike in terms of how many pairs fly off the shelves?

via Nike

Yes, these will most certainly sell. This year, next year, any year.

But you’d be a colossal moron to think these retro 9s wouldn’t have been one of the hottest selling sneakers of the year had they been released during peak Kobe adoration. Especially when you consider the guy is widely known for being a complete recluse unless he has a basketball in his hands. So with him no longer on the court, Kobe essentially does not exist.

Which is to say, Nike completely shit the shower with the timing of this release and will probably end up selling a fraction of what they could have scored had they done so during the “all eyes on Kobe” craze.

Nonetheless, the “Tour Yellow” can be all yours on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 10 am EST.

Unfortunately, they’ll cost you $190, a price you might have been more inclined to pay as you wept your way through Kobe’s shoot-til-I-die farewell tour.


Previously: The Barkley Air Max “Triple Whites” Are The New Curry 2s
Previously: The Jordan IV “Premium Ginger”: An Awe-Inspiring Sneaker Release
Previously: The Air Jordan III Retro Release Is A Thing Of Beauty


For more unapologetic honesty and everyday life lessons, follow Tim Ryan on Twitter and Instagram.