Vanessa Bryant Releases Statement On Being ‘Frustrated’ With Nike After Ending Kobe’s Relationship With Them

(Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)

Vanessa Bryant and the Kobe Bryant estate elected not to renew its partnership with Nike after their contract expired last April 13th. There were many reports last year that said Kobe was no longer happy with his Nike deal and was leaning towards making his own brand prior to his untimely passing.

According to a source of ESPN’s Nick DePaula, Vanessa Bryant was left ‘frustrated’ by the limited supplies of her husband’s shoes following his demise.

“There was also frustration with the lack of availability of Kobe footwear in Kids sizes, according to sources, presumably to be worn by both young boys and young girls getting their starts in the sport.

Nike, sources said, had presented an extension offer that was not in line with expectations or of an ongoing “lifetime” structure like the Nike Inc. contracts held by both Michael Jordan and LeBron James.”

Vanessa posted this plea in December last year, during the re-release of the Nike Kobe 6 Protro “Grinch.”

As a result of the terminated contract, future releases of Kobe Bryant-branded footwear and apparel with Nike will likely be halted, ESPN reports.

Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash in 2020 along with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others.

“Kobe Bryant was an important part of Nike’s deep connection to consumers,” Nike said in a statement. “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.”