Over a year after the death of basketball legend Kobe Bryant, his wife, Vanessa Bryant elected to not renew the players deal with Nike which expired earlier this month.
In a statement to ESPN, 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. It seems fitting that more NBA players wear my husband’s product than any other signature shoe.”
Nike responded to Bryant’s choice in an official statement that read, “Kobe Bryan was an important part of Nike’s deep connection to consumers. He pushed us and made everyone around him better. Through our contractual relationship has ended, he remains a deeply loved member of the Nike family.”
The last Kobe release was on April 13th, a restock of the Kobe 6 “Grinch,” a sneaker commemorating the five year anniversary of his 60-point final game. However, as of now, there will be no future Kobe releases.
“My hope will always be to allow Kobe’s fans to get and wear his products,” Vanessa Bryant said to ESPN. “I will continue to fight for that. Kobe’s products sell out in seconds. That says everything.
Vanessa Bryant confirmed to ESPN that the estate owns the rights to the “Mamba” logo and his signature. With that being said, Bryant’s estate is now free to negotiate with any other brand for a new partnership should they choose.