News recently broke that the estate of Kobe Bryant did not sign a new contract with Nike. According to Nick DePaula, “Vanessa Bryant did not renew the contract. Kobe and Nike are done.” Bryant’s deal with Nike officially expired on April 13th, 2021.
In December 2020, news spread from venture capitalist Shervin Pishevar who said that Kobe Bryant would leave Nike and start his own brand (before his passing). Furthermore, the plan was to start a player-owned, independent sneaker company called Mamba. There was also a mock-up floating around of the apparent shoe (see below).
Nike’s official statement:
“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.”
It’s a sad day for Kobe Bryant fans and sneakerheads. However, there are still some Nike Kobe pairs set to release this year. After 2021, if Nike no longer brings out new colorways (they could change the name of the shoe as adidas did), then, unfortunately, resell prices will go up.