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Tragically, Brooks Koepka's Kobe Bryant-inspired shoes were months in the making

LOS ANGELES – Last fall, Brooks Koepka sat down with some reps at Nike to discuss custom shoe designs for 2020. Koepka knew he was playing here at the Genesis Invitational, so he had an idea: A pair of white, yellow and purple cleats, with “MAMBA” on the sides and the soles, to honor his boyhood idol, Kobe Bryant.

“It was pretty easy,” he said Thursday. “There’s a little bit of a correlation with just the attitude (I bring) going into things, and I guess you could say embracing the hate, too.”

Koepka was hoping to give the pair of shoes to Bryant, to show him the impact that he had on Koepka’s life, but he never had the chance.