Kobe Bryant’s deal with Nike is over, bringing to an end one of the longest-running and most iconic basketball sneaker lines of all time.

First reported on Monday night, Kobe Bryant’s estate and Nike failed to come to an agreement to renew the NBA great’s last 5-year extension, which was signed in April 2016.

Nike confirmed the news shortly after reports surfaced online, issuing a statement that reads: “Kobe Bryant was an important part of Nike's deep connection to consumers. 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.”

Kobe signed with Nike in 2003 after beginning his NBA career signed to sportswear rivals adidas. From 2003 onwards, Nike released 11 signature shoes bearing Kobe’s name and Mamba logo. Nike continued to release signature models after Kobe’s retirement in 2016, though reports suggest that his line was not a high priority for the Swoosh anymore, as emerging stars Kyrie Irving and Giannis Antetokounmpo’s signature shoes were gaining in popularity.

Still, Kobe’s sneakers were worn by a wide range of active players, including DeMar DeRozan, Devin Booker, and Giannis Antetokounmpo prior to his getting a signature shoe (which was heavily inspired by Kobe’s line). They were also considered one of the best performance basketball shoes Nike had on its roster, even after Kobe’s retirement.

Following the legend’s tragic death in early 2020, interest in Nike Kobe’s spiked. The last post-mortem Nike Kobe release was on April 13, when Nike dropped an exclusive-access restock of the “Grinch” Kobe 6. The day marked the five-year anniversary of Kobe’s final game in the NBA when the Los Angeles Laker scored 60 points to bow out after a 20-year career. It was also apparently the last day of Kobe’s Nike deal.

Late last year, venture capitalist Shervin Pishevar revealed that he had met with Kobe a few months prior to his death to discuss starting an independent, player-owned sneaker brand called Mamba. According to Pishevar, Kobe was considering leaving Nike and establishing his own brand. Ultimately, however, Kobe was tragically killed in a helicopter crash before this venture could be taken on.

To stay updated on everything happening in the sneaker world, follow @highsnobietysneakers on Instagram, check out the best sneakers to add to your rotation this week, and sign up to our newsletter for the latest sneaker news sent straight to your inbox.

What To Read Next

  • new balance 2002RX

    This General-Release New Balance 2002RX Is Better Than Most Collabs

    Sneakers
  • Image on Highsnobiety

    Here's What Your Holiday Wishlist Says About You

    Style
  • Image on Highsnobiety

    Meet the OUR LEGACYs!

    Culture
  • Image on Highsnobiety

    What’s Next for the Outdoors and Fashion? Experts Weigh In

    Culture
  • Image on Highsnobiety

    Denim Tears & Stüssy Head to Jamaica (Queens)

    Style
  • Image on Highsnobiety

    AMI X PUMA Is Outdoorswear with a Side of Parisian Chic

    Style
*If you submitted your e-mail address and placed an order, we may use your e-mail address to inform you regularly about similar products without prior explicit consent. You can object to the use of your e-mail address for this purpose at any time without incurring any costs other than the transmission costs according to the basic tariffs. Each newsletter contains an unsubscribe link. Alternatively, you can object to receiving the newsletter at any time by sending an e-mail to info@highsnobiety.com

Web Accessibility Statement

Titelmedia (Highsnobiety), is committed to facilitating and improving the accessibility and usability of its Website, www.highsnobiety.com. Titelmedia strives to ensure that its Website services and content are accessible to persons with disabilities including users of screen reader technology. To accomplish this, Titelmedia has engaged UsableNet Inc, a leading web accessibility consultant to help test, remediate and maintain our Website in-line with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which also bring the Website into conformance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Disclaimer

Please be aware that our efforts to maintain accessibility and usability are ongoing. While we strive to make the Website as accessible as possible some issues can be encountered by different assistive technology as the range of assistive technology is wide and varied.

Contact Us

If, at any time, you have specific questions or concerns about the accessibility of any particular webpage on this Website, please contact us at accessibility@highsnobiety.com, +49 (0)30 235 908 500. If you do encounter an accessibility issue, please be sure to specify the web page and nature of the issue in your email and/or phone call, and we will make all reasonable efforts to make that page or the information contained therein accessible for you.