The legendary NBA star died in a helicopter crash along with his daughter, Gigi Bryant, last year. Photo: Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP
The legendary NBA star died in a helicopter crash along with his daughter, Gigi Bryant, last year. Photo: Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

Kobe Bryant’s contract with Nike expires

By Thobile Mazibuko Time of article published Apr 22, 2021

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SNEAKERS are a huge part of the basketball culture. Michael Jordan took it to another level by popularising the sneaker game.

Last season, the most worn sneakers were not Nike’s LeBron James or Adidas’ Damian Lillard. Instead, more than 100 players, including Jewell Loyd, who plates for the Seattle, wore Nike’s line of Kobe Bryant’s signature sneakers.

The legendary NBA star died in a helicopter crash along with his daughter, Gigi Bryant, last year.

Sadly, everyone will have to find alternative sneakers as Nike announced that its contract with the late basketball player expired last week.

“Kobe Bryant was an important part of Nike’s deep connection to consumers. 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,” Nike said.

Vanessa Bryant, the wife of the late basketball player, was not pleased with the fact that Nike didn’t renew her husband’s contract. She said she would fight for her husband’s legacy.

She said: “Kobe’s Nike contract expired on April 13, 2021. Kobe and Nike have made some of the most beautiful basketball shoes of all time, worn by adored fans and athletes in all sports across the globe.

“It seems fit 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.

“I was hoping to forge a lifelong partnership with Nike that reflects my husband’s legacy. We will always do everything we can to honour Kobe and Gigi’s legacies. That will never change.”

Kobe has been with Nike since 2003.

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