PAINT LICK, Ky. (LEX 18) — The basketball world continues to mourn the loss of Kobe Bryant, a player admired for his passion and commitment to his craft.
For millions across generations, there was also a connection with his creativity.
"He impacted the world because of his creativity," said Jeremy Thompson.
Year after year, Thompson waited for the next pair of Kobe's to hit the market.
"If I'm playing ball, I want these on my feet because they're low to the ground. I feel secure in them," said Thompson.
He recalled one pair of Kobe sneakers that were wrapped in snakeskin.
"That Mamba mentality. I remember when I bought that first pair of these, I remember thinking you have to be the bad guy for wearing these," said Thompson.
Thompson says there's no surprise Kobe's signature sneakers are skyrocketing in value in secondary markets.
"Everything that he's done has been very creative. I think that's going to be missed," said Thompson.
Under the name Showtime Customs, Thompson also customizes sneakers as a side job.
As he takes orders from fans wanting their own custom Kobe's, he showed us his own modified pair.
"I looked at them last night, and I thought about wearing them. It felt like I needed to put on that shoe. It's kinda weird to feel like you need to put them on, but it almost is that closeness," said Thompson.
But he's not ready to wear a pair of Kobe's just yet as he continues to mourn with the basketball community.
"Kobe took flight. He was as close to being able to fly as anybody," said Thompson. "This isn't supposed to happen to our superheroes."