Kobe Bryant’s expired Nike deal explained


What does this mean for collectors?

The news hit NBA players the hardest Monday night. Lakers players Talen Horton-Tucker and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who both wear Kobes during games, immediately signaled the bat for more pairs of their favorite shoes. “Anyone who can get me Kobes, I need them,” Horton-Tucker said at a recent post-match press conference.

But even those who don’t rely on shoes to do their jobs have been disappointed by the news. “It’s sad that it got to this point at all,” says the writer and former CLICK Magazine editor Russ Bengtson, who is slowly selling his massive sneaker collection while keeping his Kobes. Bengtson initially avoided selling his Kobe sneakers because he didn’t want to be part of the “opportunistic profit that happens when people die unexpectedly.” The announcement of the cessation of production of Kobes will only fuel resale prices.


Bengtson notes that Vanessa is clearly thinking of more than just one short-term sneaker deal and more of Kobe’s legacy as a whole. “We will always do our utmost to honor Kobe and Gigi’s legacy,” Vanessa said in her statement to ESPN. “That will never change.”

And Kobe’s legacy with Nike is enormous: not only is his name at the top of a successful franchise, but “the current leadership of Nike Basketball in general.” [has] was motivated by Kobe’s extensive knowledge of how a basketball shoe should work and what it should look like, ”says Bengtson, it is obviously the low performance shoe that is now widely worn by NBA players .

Devin Booker in Kobes.

Michael Reaves / Getty Images

Will there be shoes and clothing other than Nike Kobe?

Before his death, Kobe was apparently working on launching his own shoe brand. The entrepreneur Shervin Pishevar tweeted in December of last year, “I met Kobe Bryant at the end of December 2019. Kobe was not happy with Nike and was going to be leaving in 2020. Kobe was going to start Mamba, a player-owned shoe company. This is a possible option. The domain can also choose to enter into an agreement with a new brand; Kobe has worked with Adidas in the past. The key to any new deal is the fact that Kobe Bryant’s estate owns the right to its logo and Mamba signature, according to ESPN.

However, those hoping for a reunion between Nike and Kobe should not give up hope. “At this point, I don’t think the Kobe-Nike split is permanent,” Bengtson speculated. He noted that Kobe collaborator at Nike, Eric Avar, would likely be in the best position to carry on the legacy of the late player’s sneaker line. More than that, he found it hard to imagine a line of Kobe Bryant sneakers without the obsessive attention to detail that was Bryant’s hallmark: “I can’t imagine the Kobe estate endorsing another brand – or launching. its own line – without Kobe being there to make a direct contribution.



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