Caitlin Clark channeled the “Mamba Mentality” in Nike Kobe 6s for her WNBA debut

Indiana Fever’s newest superstar donned the Nike Kobe 6 Protro “All-Star” silhouette in her first-ever WNBA appearance.
Indiana Fever v Dallas Wings
Indiana Fever v Dallas Wings / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages

May 3rd, 2024, marked a special date for the WNBA and the Indiana Fever franchise. Despite only being a preseason matchup, all eyes were on the Indiana Fever as they went up against the Dallas Wings. That’s because this game marked the first on-court appearance for first overall pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft, Caitlin Clark. 

The 22-year-old Iowa product left a historic imprint on the collegiate level, drawing pique interest from fans and media pundits alike who are intrigued to witness Clark’s impact on the professional level. Clark didn’t even need to step foot on the professional hardwood for some to label her a face, if not, the face of the WNBA.  

So how did Caitlin Clark do in her preseason WNBA debut? Not too shabby at all. An excellent introductory stat line posting 21 points, with 16 coming in the first half, three rebounds, two assists, and two steals. Perhaps one downside to her performance was Clark’s five turnovers, but it’s hardly a feat worth raising eyebrows at, given this was Caitlin’s first-ever professional game as a rookie point guard. 

With such a momentous occasion, you might wonder what set of basketball kicks donned the feet of one Caitlin Clark? Clark tapped into her inner “Mamba Mentality” with a staple silhouette in her basketball sneaker repertoire, the Nike Kobe model, and more specifically, the Nike Kobe 6 Protro “All-Star” colorway. 

Caitlin Clark has quickly achieved star status and selected the perfect pair of sneakers for her WNBA debut.

The Kobe 6 "All-Star" was first showcased during the 2011 NBA All-Star Game, where Kobe Bryant secured a fourth All-Star MVP award. During the game, the "Black Mamba" scored 37 points, along with securing 14 rebounds, ultimately leading his Western Conference squad to a victory over LeBron James and the opposing East All-Stars.

Kobe Bryant, LeBron James
2011 NBA All-Star Game / Kevork Djansezian/GettyImages

Now, the model that Caitlin Clark wore was most likely the 2021 relaunch, which retailed for $180 at the time of release. The updated design is more compact and streamlined, with advanced technology to help one perform better on-court.

A unique Air Zoom Turbo unit is in the midsole, along with a modified traction pattern on the outsole, providing better responsiveness and grip on the hardwood. The upper material consists of a textured material that resembles red and black snakeskin, paying homage to the Black Mamba nickname, with Kobe's signature also featured on the shoe's black heel cap.

There is a buzz of excitement in the sports world, both among the media and the devoted followers of the WNBA, all focused on the Indiana Fever and Caitlin Clark. Clark's rapid ascent to fame demonstrates her wide appeal in women's sports and the basketball community. Brands have taken notice also, with reports of Nike securing the 22-year-old prospect to a lucrative endorsement deal, with an expected signature sneaker to follow sooner rather than later.