Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant’s shoe line has become a commodity so rare even the wealthy NBA stars struggle to get in possession of the sneakers.
Following Bryant’s tragic death, his wife Vanessa announced the family’s estate would end its long-term partnership with Nike. After the sports apparel manufacturer stopped producing new pairs of Kobes, the brand’s devoted fans — including Anthony Davis — started running out of their favorite shoes.
But ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reports there is a glimmer of hope Nike and the Bryant empire could still find an agreement and resume the partnership:
Last spring, Nike and Vanessa Bryant announced they were parting ways after the shoe giant’s deal with the late Kobe Bryant ended. The sides are still talking with the hope they can eventually come to terms, sources told ESPN, but currently the partnership is off.
NBA stars found it particularly problematic to replenish their supplies of Kobes as pairs in large sizes became the scarcest of all. In the end, some superstars reportedly ended up paying close to $1,000 for the line’s most basic models.
Vanessa is busy taking care of the Bryant estate. She recently filed to trademark “KB24,” although the application wasn’t tied to a new shoe line or any other type of sporting goods.
Nevertheless, products and services with the mark on could soon hit the market.
The application came after Vanessa launched the “Mambacita” clothing line in May.
Davis ‘hurt’ by Bryant estate’s split with Nike
Davis belongs to some of the most ardent fans of Bryant’s shoes, wearing Kobes ever since joining the Lakers. When the news broke about the end of the Bryant estate’s deal with Nike earlier this year, the 28-year-old All-Star said he was “hurt” by the unexpected announcement.
“It was tough to see,” Davis said. “Not sure if it’s final, I think they can always come back and figure some things out, but I don’t know all the details of everything. The ins and outs. Just to see that definitely hurts.”
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