The GOAT vs. Black Mamba
Will Kobe have the same post NBA career success at Jordan?
The world of sports celebrated the GOAT’s birthday this week. For those who do not follow basketball, I am referring to Michael Jordan. Various media outlets celebrated by counting down Jordan’s top plays, current and alumni players posted their favorite moments, and fans like myself reminisced on their favorite pair of J’s. By the way the “Flu Games” has to be number one, no arguments taken. It’s no doubt Michael Jordan continues to ignite the NBA with his presence even though he retired over ten years ago. Another great, Kobe Bryant will be retiring after this season. Often compared to Jordan, I ponder will Kobe have the same success post NBA career.
It is difficult to say yes or no at this moment, but there a couple factors that play into the answer.
1. The basketball fan in the Jordan era is not the same fan today, and it’s not because the Jordan era was better. Fans live for moments, and the younger generation is not striving to be like Mike, Kobe, or even Lebron. They are defining their own game. There also so many ways to consume the game that it is not as important to experience the game live. A simple ESPN alert, or Instagram video sums the game up for you. I call it fan convenience which makes for a lot of band wagon fans, as well as fans who just know records.
2. Jordan thrives on his signature sneakers. The AJXXX was released on earlier this month, with the AJXXXI scheduled for release later this year. Not only is the brand releasing new sneakers, but the retros are being released basically ever other week in different color ways and consumers are still breaking their pockets to cop them on Saturday mornings. Kobe on the other hand has had the pleasure of working with two major brands, but lets face it adidas did not do Kobe any justice. He has had great success with Nike, but people are not lining up for Kobe’s. I do think re-releasing the Hurrache 2k4 and 2k5 in the Laker color way will have some success, event though these technically were not labeled Kobe’s shoe. Moral is signature sneakers keep you relevant.
Not taking away from Kobe’s success. He has left his mark on the game and will be forever remembered as “Black Mamba”, as well as one of the greatest. We will see over the next few years Kobe’s transition from on court to the sidelines, and if he will live up to the #TheGoat.