If you’re a hooper, you know about those ‘Kobe’ Nike kicks.
They always stood out on the court with that signature look.
Now, according to CBS Sports’ Ruben Palacios: “One of the longest-running sneaker lines in the industry could be coming to an end after Nike and Kobe Bryant’s estate failed to come to an agreement on a new deal this month, first reported by Complex and later confirmed by Nike. Bryant’s Nike deal expired on April 13, 2021, exactly five years to the day that his 60-point performance provided an exclamation point to a Hall of Fame career.”
Here’s what Nike said:
“Kobe Bryant was an important part of Nike’s deep connection to consumers,” Nike said in a statement issued on Monday per CBS Sports. “He pushed us and made everyone around him better. Though our contractual relationship has ended, he remains a deeply loved member of the Nike family.”
Here’s what Vanessa Bryant said:
“Kobe and Nike have made some of the most beautiful basketball shoes of all time, worn and adored by fans and athletes in all sports across the globe,” Vanessa Bryant said in a statement per CBS Sports. “It seems fitting that more NBA players wear my husband’s product than any other signature shoe. My hope will always be to allow Kobe’s fans to get and wear his products. I will continue to fight for that. Kobe’s products sell out in seconds. That says everything.”
So, why won’t there be a possible extension of the contract?
According to ESPN’s Nick DePaula:“According to a source, Bryant and the estate had grown frustrated with Nike limiting the availability of Kobe products during his retirement and after his January 2020 death in a helicopter crash. There was also frustration with the lack of availability of Kobe footwear in kids’ sizes, according to sources. Nike, sources said, had presented an extension offer that was not in line with expectations of an ongoing ‘lifetime’ structure similar to the Nike Inc. contracts held by both Michael Jordan and LeBron James.”
In any case, whether the ‘Kobe’s’ continue on with Nike or another company, the shoe is undeniable and a way for hoopers and non-hoopers alike to rock the kicks that are named after one of the greatest basketball players to ever lace ‘em up.
Here’s to hoping production continues someway, somehow as players, coaches, and fans can wear them to remember Kobe and Gigi as even just a small way to keep their legacy going. Both on the court and off.
Charlie Lapastora is a sports/news multimedia journalist who’s reported, written, produced, anchored, shot video/edited on different NBC, ABC, and FOX shows in multiple TV markets, along with digital & new media companies. Charlie has traveled the country telling national sports, news, feature, and original stories on a cable news network, airing on top 10 TV markets, satellite radio, and digital platforms. He is passionate about his faith, family—being a husband to whom he calls the G.O.A.T. of women—about reppin’ his home state of Michigan and Detroit teams (yes, including the Lions), good coffee, and loves how sports brings people together. He’s traveled the world leading and coaching sports camps and has also worked at the Detroit Pistons and LA Clippers’ NBA teams.
At The Buzzer, or ATB is the place for those who love sports, life, family, community, and so much more. We are far from the run-of-the-mill 24/7 sports news websites. We not only bring you what’s happening in the world of sports in terms of trades and breaking news, but we also bring you the news that goes on behind the scenes, like big life moments, and so much more. So take a minute and read one of our articles, we promise you won't regret it.