Update 04/20/2021 8:56am:
Vanessa Bryant released a statement addressing why she didn't renew her late husband Kobe's contract with Nike.
In a message posted to Instagram, Vanessa wrote, "Kobe's Nike contract expired on 4/13/21. 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. It seems fitting that more NBA players wear my husband's product than any other signature shoe."
She added, "My hope will always be to allow Kobe's fans to get and wear his products. 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."
Original 04/19/2021 8:55pm:
Kobe Bryant's deal with Nike is reportedly coming to an after the late NBA icon's estate declined to renew his deal with the athletic apparel company.
According to industry sources, Kobe's deal with Nike expired on April 13, 2021. But, Nike still has Kobe sneakers scheduled to release later this year but they will likely be the last releases as of now.
Kobe Bryant signed to Nike in 2003 and became one of the company's signature athletes, releasing over 11 sneaker lines during and after his playing career. However, sales for Kobe's shoes started declining after his retirement and before his death. The future Hall of Famer was reportedly a low priority as Nike began focusing more on Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and LeBron James.
In December 2020, it was reported that Kobe was unhappy with Nike and considered leaving the brand. Venture capitalist Shervin Pishevar claimed he had met with the NBA superstar a year prior to discuss Kobe's plan to launch his own sneaker company.
Nike has not issued a statement on Kobe Bryant's expired deal.