With the shock of Kobe Bryant’s sudden death still reverberating throughout Los Angeles, thousands of fans have continued to memorialize the Lakers legend through a variety of means.
Makeshift vigils have formed at the crash site in Calabasas, the Mamba Sports Academy, across the street from Staples Center at the Xbox Plaza in L.A. Live, and multiple murals throughout the city.
As Bryant’s memory is carried forward through stories, photos and videos, his Nike merchandise has also become a hot commodity. According to ESPN’s Nick DePaula, Bryant products sold out on the official Nike website:
In the wake of Kobe Bryant’s death, Nike has confirmed that it has sold out of all Kobe-related items from its Nike.com webstore, company sources told ESPN on Tuesday.
It was initially believed Nike removed product from their inventory in effort to prevent from it being purchased and sold at a markup on the secondary market. Sneaker consignment stores have either kept existing prices the same, or halted the sale of Bryant’s shoes.
The Nike.com homepage features the graphic the company made with an image of Bryant and their statement on his passing. “Along with millions of athletes and fans throughout the world, we are devastated by today’s tragic news,” it reads.
“We extend our deepest sympathies to those closest to Kobe and Gianna, especially their family and friends. As we are learning more details of the accident and the others who have tragically lost their lives, our heartfelt sympathies go out to everyone involved and impacted.
“Kobe was one of the greatest athletes of his generation and has had an immeasurable impact on the world of sport and the community of basketball. He was a beloved member of the Nike family. We will miss him greatly. Mamba forever.”
Searches for any of Bryant’s products on the website produce only a purple and yellow Nike gift card with the Lakers’ logo, and customers are re-directed to a remembrance landing page. As of now, Nike’s next release of a Bryant signature shoe is a Kobe 5 Protro in white, black and trophy gold, scheduled for Feb. 7.
With the franchise understandably among those grieving, the Lakers postponed Tuesday’s game against the Clippers and won’t take the court until hosting the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday.
LeBron James, a fellow Nike athlete and among the thousands who idolized Bryant, broke his silence and vowed to carry on the five-time’s champion competitive spirit.