High-end performance basketball footwear has been a cornerstone of Nike’s business since the Air Force 1 dropped in 1982. With evolution always in the forefront of their products, Nike built a network of technology over the last 35+ years that have served athletes in their pursuit of greatness. In the early 2000’s the Swoosh debuted their ‘2k’ line with the 2k3. The shoe’s sequel, 2k4 has been touted as one of the greatest hoop shoes in history. The 2k4 mixed history with innovation to create a basketball silhouette that would lay the groundwork for basketball shoes onward. With all the fanfare surrounding the 2k4, 2005’s aptly named 2k5 doesn’t hold the same illustriousness as the 2k4. Many will say a lack of marketing muted the 2k5’s visibility; but in many ways the 2k5 expanded on what the 2k4 did so well.

Kobe & Lamar Odom in 2k5s.
Kobe’s 2005 NBA All-Star 2k5s.

Both shoes share plenty of similarities: synthetic uppers, ankle straps, great heel counters and, Zoom in the forefoot and heel and harringbone traction. The tooling may be the same but the 2k5 ‘leveled up’ the 2k4’s stats to new levels of comfort and performance. The Zoom is bouncier, the heel lockdown hugs feet in-place better than the 2k4 and overall fit was improved.

Kobe during the 2005 regular season.
Kobe driving to the hoop in the 2k5 during the All-Star Game.

Kobe Bryant spearheaded the 2k5’s on-court campaign with some insane PE’s and other great players laced up the 2k5 too. Lets take a look back at the (not) Kobe2 in various Player Editions (if Kobe didn’t catch that case then the 2k4 would have been the Nike Kobe1 and 2k5 would have subsequently been the Kobe2).

City Pack: Rashard Lewis, Seattle.
City Pack: Kobe Bryant; Los Angeles.
City Pack: Ben Gordon, Chicago.
Rashad McCants PE.
Penny Hardaway PE (yes he was still playing in ’05).
Kobe Lakers ‘Home’.
Daemon Stoudemire PE.
Cuttino Mobley PE.
Ben Gordon ‘Home’ PE.
The super rare Dorenbecher 2k5 from ’06; 650 pairs total.
One of the initial GR releases of the 2k5.