It was initially reported that Nike pulled the items to limit “resellers ability to stockpile an inventory of existing products, only to sell them on the secondary market at elevated prices.” Nike is evaluating how it will proceed with selling Bryant’s merchandise as the company had some Kobe sneaker launches in the works before his untimely death.
Nike also posted a statement on its website that appears when “Kobe Bryant” is searched on the site.
Along with millions of athletes and fans throughout the world, we are devastated by today’s tragic news. 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.
Nike initially had plans to release a new celebratory colorway of the Kobe 5 Protro on Feb. 7 but the company is having second thoughts about releasing it this soon after his death. Nike first signed Kobe to a four-year, $40 million contract back in 2003, when he was 24. After Kobe retired in 2016, Nike assisted him in establishing the Mamba League kids basketball program.
The 41-year-old basketball legend died Sunday in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, CA, along with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven other people.
Bryant spent his entire 20-year NBA career with the Los Angeles Lakers. He was a five-time NBA World Champion, a two-time Finals MVP, and the 2008 Most Valuable Player. During Bryant’s career, he made the All-Star team 18 times. He was the youngest player to reach 30,000 points. Bryant retired from the NBA in 2016; in his final game, he scored an NBA-season high 60 points.