In 2008, Kobe Bryant and Nike started a new trend in basketball by introducing low-top sneakers to the hardwood. Today, with the launch of the latest Kobe signature, it looks like the Swoosh and Mamba have taken an entirely opposite approach with the unveiling of the high-top Kobe 9.

Given Kobe's recent injury troubles, it makes sense that he asked Nike for a high top shoe with more ankle support, but very few of us imagined his latest shoe would take on such a dramatic departure in terms of design from previous Kobe shoes.

There's plenty more to discuss as we await official technical specs of the Kobe 9. In the meantime, check out some of the images below that have surfaced from the shoe's ongoing unveiling in Los Angeles.

Nike Kobe 9_2

Nike Kobe 9_6

Nike Kobe 9_5
Nike Kobe 9_3
Nike Kobe 9_4

[Images via SoleCollector]