Sneaker Street gets a Kobe slam-dunk
with Andrew Sun. Additional reporting by Clara Mak, Kimberly Chou and Phoebe Cheng.
Traffic was extra crazy in Mong Kok on Friday afternoon - because NBA superstar Kobe Bryant dropped into one of the shops on Sneaker Street (Fa Yuen Street). The LA Laker arrived as part of a five-city Asian promo tour, waving to fans and showing off his new shoe line before heading up the road to the MacPherson Stadium.
At half-time during an exhibition game between a team led by actor Shawn Yue Man-lok (left, with Bryant and singer Stephanie Cheng) and kids from the local Nike league, Bryant appeared and the place erupted. He then coached some youngsters and played some half-hearted one-on-one. However, 17-year-old 196m-tall Chow Kin-wan challenged him to a more serious game. Bryant grinned and toyed with the youngster before despatching him with an emphatic dunk.
However, the 29-year-old NBA all-star was a good sport, telling Chow: 'I looked just as odd as you did practising shots with my left hand [when I was young], but if you work hard, you can do it too.' Chow didn't too much mind getting a basketball facial from his hero. 'It was so powerful when he did the slam dunk in my face. Kobe will be my role model and I will work hard on improving my basketball skills.' Perhaps one day he too will get tattoos up and down his arm and cheat on his wife.