Kobe Bryant began his Asian tour today, dubbed the Supernatural Tour and sponsored by Nike, when he touched down in Manila early in this morning. And despite arriving at 5am local time, the NBA superstar was welcomed by hundreds of people smiling and cheering in the capital of the basketball-crazed Philippines. Kobe moved on to the Manila Coliseum to speak to the packed arena and share his practice regimen. The Nike store in which Bryant was supposed to appear started to form a line nine hours before his scheduled arrive.
The Nike Supernatural tour spans five days and will take the Los Angeles Laker Guard to five Asian cities – Manila, Taipei, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing.
The tour is being promoted as an opportunity to work with young Asian athletes, in order to inspire, energize and improve their basketball game.
The tour is on the heels of the USA’s dominating performance in the Tournament of the Americas where they won the gold medal and earned a berth to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Bryant was the third leading scorer on the team, and was named to the all-tournament team, along with Carmelo Anthony.
Kobe’s tour will coincide, not coincidently, with the release of Kobe’s new line of shoes: the Zoom Kobe II Ultimate USA and Zoom Kobe II ST Ultimate USA.[related thread] [official site]