• 01.13.12

The Questionable Wisdom of Kobe Bryant, Now Available in Shoe-Form

Some of the world’s most successful people wonder, “Can you put a ring around another ring?” and other important questions brought to you by #Kobesystem.

The Questionable Wisdom of Kobe Bryant, Now Available in Shoe-Form

In trying to reconcile some of Kobe Bryant’s more erratic behaviors with his awe-inspiring jumpshot, it’s only natural to wonder if there’s a method to his madness; whether Kobe has any kind of system in place.


Turns out he does.

In Wieden + Kennedy Portland’s latest ad for Nike, a cavalcade of boldface names offer on-camera testimonials to the greatness of something called the “Kobe System.” (In print, it is affixed with a hashtag for extra Twitterability.) Whatever the major tenets of Kobe System are– almost certainly something to do with high-end sneakers–they are apparently inspirational enough to offer next-level motivation. Kobe System, the ad informs us, is where the successful find more success.

On hand to lend credibility to this promise, are literally some of the most successful people in the world (Richard Branson, Kanye West, Serena Williams) and perhaps one of the funniest (Aziz Ansari.) As part of their endorsement of the mysterious system, this assemblage also muses on what might be possible under Kobe’s tutelage. A brief sampling:

  • “Is there such thing as a no-handed catch?” –Jerry Rice
  • “Can I do stand-up inside of a volcano?” –Aziz Ansari
  • “Is there a power within the power within?” –Tony Robbins

Statistically speaking, most of the people who see the ad probably won’t be successful enough to reach the tier of success promised by Kobe System. Having said that, though, it’s almost certain that the new Nike Zoom Kobe VII will be able to assist such a transformation…

About the author

Joe Berkowitz is a writer and staff editor at Fast Company. His next book, Away with Words, is available June 13th from Harper Perennial.