In a tragic news for sneakerheads everywhere, Vanessa Bryant–the widow and head of Kobe Bryant's estate after his tragic passing–has elected not to extend the estate's contractual relationship with Nike after their five-year extension expired earlier in April.
After this split, production and release will halt on all future Kobe releases, stalling the now-iconic sneaker brand, and the most popular on-court line in today's NBA. Fans and players are all lamenting the split, but there might be some good news.
As Vanessa herself revealed, Nike and the Kobe Bryant estate will be giving us all one (or two) more goodbye gifts.
Per ESPN's Nick DePaula:
Vanessa Bryant says there will be “2 more drops” of Kobe releases. pic.twitter.com/fJA9zraPPg
— Nick DePaula (@NickDePaula) April 24, 2021
This brings some relief to Kobe and sneaker fans, which Vanessa Bryant has been heavily campaigning for, especially after her husband's passing. According to many stories, the split actually came about primarily because of how limited Nike made Kobe products after his death, and the perceived lack of respect for him by not giving neither him nor his estate the “lifetime” treatment awarded to LeBron James and Michael Jordan.
“My hope will always be to allow Kobe's fans to get and wear his products,” Vanessa Bryant said, per ESPN. “I will continue to fight for that. Kobe's products sell out in seconds. That says everything. I was hoping to forge a lifelong partnership with Nike that reflects my husband's legacy. We will always do everything we can to honor Kobe and Gigi's legacies. That will never change.”
Two more drops. That's all that we have left to look forward to of Nike's Kobe line of sneakers, at least as we know it. Better start lining up folks, because these are about to fly off shelves.