Kobe Bryant’s run with Nike ends as Lakers legend’s property elects to not lengthen partnership


Kobe Bryant signed a five-year extension with Nike in April 2016 that saved him related to the model into his retirement. That contract has now expired, and a brand new deal is not coming.

Bryant’s widow Vanessa and the Kobe Bryant property have elected to not renew the partnership with Nike, Vanessa instructed ESPN’s Nick DePaula on Monday. Bryant’s deal expired on April 13, which marked precisely 5 years because the Lakers legend scored 60 factors in his ultimate NBA sport.

MORE: How Kobe continues to affect rise of Julius Randle

The property was disillusioned with Nike “limiting the provision of Kobe merchandise” after his retirement in 2016 and dying in a January 2020 helicopter crash, DePaula mentioned. There was additionally reportedly a frustration with the “lack of availability of Kobe footwear in children’ sizes.”

“Kobe and Nike have made a few of the most lovely basketball footwear of all time, worn and adored by followers and athletes in all sports activities throughout the globe,” Vanessa instructed DePaula. “It appears becoming that extra NBA gamers put on my husband’s product than another signature shoe. … My hope will all the time be to permit Kobe’s followers to get and put on his merchandise. I’ll proceed to combat for that. Kobe’s merchandise promote out in seconds. That claims all the pieces. 

“I hoped to forge a lifelong partnership with Nike that displays my husband’s legacy. We are going to all the time do all the pieces we will to honor Kobe and Gigi’s legacies. That can by no means change.”

Nike confirmed that the connection had ended, saying in a press release that Bryant was “an essential a part of Nike’s deep connection to customers” and he’s nonetheless “a deeply cherished member of the Nike household.” The corporate did supply an extension to Vanessa and the property, however the construction of the deal fell wanting expectations, per DePaula.

Lakers guards Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Talen Horton-Tucker reacted to the information after Los Angeles’ loss to Utah on Monday evening. Each gamers mentioned they are going to try to purchase extra pairs with Nike more likely to hit pause on any future releases.

It’s unclear whether or not Vanessa and the Bryant property have mentioned a brand new partnership with different manufacturers.

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