'Disgusting': Nike's massive Kobe Bryant news sparks anger

Riley Morgan
·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
Vanessa Bryant (pictured left) smiling with husband Kobe Bryant (pictured right).
Vanessa Bryant (pictured left) chose not to renew a deal with Nike over her late husband and former LA Lakers star Kobe Bryant's (pictured right) shoes. (Getty Images)

Vanessa Bryant and her estate have elected not to renew Kobe Bryant's enormous deal with Nike after the contract expired this month.

In a statement, Vanessa announced the contract expired on 13/4/2021 and they were proud of the shoes Kobe and Nike had collaborated on throughout the partnership.

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"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," the statement read.

"It seems fitting that more NBA players wear my husband's product than any other signature shoe."

ESPN reported a source had revealed: "Bryant and the estate had grown frustrated with Nike limiting the availability of Kobe product during his retirement and after his January 2020 death in a helicopter crash."

Adding to her statement, Vanessa said she hopes to continue the Kobe products for all fans.

"My hope will always be to allow Kobe's fans to get and wear his products," Vanessa Bryant added.

"I will continue to fight for that. Kobe's products sell out in seconds. That says everything."

Many fans on social media were upset at how Nike had handled recent releases of Kobe's shoes.

The exclusivity of the shoes, judged by some fans, prompted anger after Nike's announcement.

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While many others felt the shoes had a special tie to Nike.

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Bryant's long-term deal with Nike before split

Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others died in a helicopter crash in January 2020.

The ending of his Nike deal mean's his estate can now look to make deals with other brands.

The late Kobe Bryant hosts a Kobe A.D. event at MAMA Gallery on November 1, 2016.
The late Kobe Bryant hosts a Kobe A.D. event at MAMA Gallery on November 1, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)

Bryant's deal with Nike in 2003, after leaving Adidas, started one of the biggest basketball deals in Nike's history.

The LA Lakers legend had 11 signature shoes released during his career and multiple dropped after he retired in 2016.

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