The sequel to the year’s prior Kobe Bryant sneaker, the Nike Zoom Air Huarache 2K5 brought a similar look with the Free sole that was a decade in the making. Eric Avar once again designed the Huarache 2K5 with integration of this running technology in mind, giving people barefoot-feeling flexibility with assistance from flex grooves on the sole. Avar would balance this technology with support features like a carbon fiber plate under the midfoot and a mid-ankle strap. Zoom Air units in the heel and forefoot combined with Phylon foam to provide a responsive, yet lightweight ride that was different than other basketball shoes at the time.
On the court, Kobe had something to prove for the 2004-05 season. The triangle of stars in Kobe, Shaquille O’Neal, and coach Phil Jackson butted heads all year and it was apparent that the three would not last after the 2004 Finals loss to the Detroit Pistons. When the dust settled, Jackson was not offered a new contract from the Lakers and Shaq was traded to the Miami Heat, leaving Bryant and the chip on his shoulder in Los Angeles. Bryant would show out, dropping five 50+ point games that season.