By now you may have heard that L.A. Lakers star, and no doubt future NBA Hall of Famer, Kobe Bryant announced on Twitter that he’ll be retiring after this season. His tweet linked to a poem published on The Players’ Tribune, detailing the 20-year NBA veteran’s feelings for and goodbye to the game.
But while his basketball career will be dissected and celebrated for the rest of the season as he plays out his swan song tour around the league, let’s take a few minutes to reminisce about Bryant’s advertising career. It’s an impressive line-up, not the least of which was his 2013 Turkish Airlines selfie showdown with Lionel Messi that ranked as Google’s most watched ad over the last decade. Whether it was his initial shoe deal with Adidas, moving on to the Swoosh, some solid Sprite action, a puppetry partnership with LeBron James, a strangely surreal celebrity-filled motivational speaking gig, and a Call of Duty cameo, Bryant’s relationship with brands spans the evolving styles and strategies of sports-related advertising over the last two decades.
Check out 10 of his most memorable ads in the slide show above.JB