Kobe putting an exclamation point on his return as an endorser

Kobe_si_coverHaving dropped 81 big ones on the unsuspecting Toronto Raptors yesterday, Kobe Bryant certainly is preparing well for his full reinstatement as a celebrity endorser. The Los Angeles Lakers star is recapturing his old form in style. (The Sports Illustrated cover shown here is from March 2003, a few months before he was accused of rape—charges that were eventually dropped. This season he’s averaging something like 35 points a game.) Bryant appeared in a two-page Nike ad in SI last July, but this winter he will make an even splashier return by marketing his first Nike signature shoe, the Zoom Kobe I, according to the Los Angeles Times. A TV commercial featuring Bryant will debut during the All-Star break next month. Bryant has not discussed the ad other than to say it will be “simple, true to form.”

—Posted by Tim Nudd

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