During his playing days with the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe Bryant wasn’t just successful on the court but off the court as well.
Before his media ventures took off, Bryant had one of the most popular shoes on the market with both fans and players clamoring to get the latest pair. Bryant’s shoes were so popular that they eventually were hard for anyone to get retail and had to resort to the re-sell market.
Even after Bryant retired from the NBA, his sneakers continued to be in high demand, and players around the league still hoop in them today. For example, Anthony Davis can be seen rocking Bryant’s kicks every game as well as several other players who may or may not have ties to the legend himself.
After Bryant and his daughter’s tragic death in January 2020, production of his signature shoes came to a halt. However, Nike CEO John Donahue announced that Nike would be relaunching Bryant’s brand ahead of Kobe Bryant Day via Eric Fisher of Front Office Sports:
“It’s going to be an exciting summer, as we set the stage to relaunch the Kobe brand in advance of Kobe Day on Aug. 24,” Donahoe said, referencing the annual commemoration of Bryant corresponding to his jersey Nos. 8 and 24.
This is great news and an excellent way to honor Bryant and his legacy as he remains one of the most influential figures in the basketball and sports world. Kobe Bryant Day was created back in 2021, so relaunching his sneaker line around that time makes perfect sense.
Bryant’s wife Vanessa Bryant previously announced that the Lakers icon’s shoes were going to remain with Nike after the two sides initially looked like they couldn’t come to an agreement on extending their partnership. Fortunately, they were able to work it out, and now fans across the globe will be able to enjoy the shoes once again in the coming months.
Rob Pelinka calls it ‘special’ to seeing NBA rookies named after Kobe Bryant
The 2023 NBA Draft was an exciting time as there were several players who looked like they could fit the bill as future stars, most notably Victor Wembanyama. However, an interesting subplot to the night was how many prospects were named after Bryant. Two of them, Kobe Bufkin and Kobe Brown, were taken in the first round at No. 15 and No. 30, respectively.
Rob Pelinka couldn’t help but express how special it was to see young players named after Bryant and believes that there will be more kids with his name down the line.