Kobe Bryant had been with Adidas since entering the league – he broke off a long relationship rather in cold blood.
in 2002, the deal between Kobe Bryant and Adidas turned sour – they were out of business. For a year, Bean was a Sneaker free agent and wore any sneaker he wanted under the sun. To do this, Kobe had to pay $8 million out of pocket to get out early.
But in 2003, Nike had a phenomenal year signing Kobe, LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony. They may have lost Michael Jordan for the last time, but instead got three future Hall of Famers. Bron and Melo were two of the best young athletes in the class, and Kobe was a proven superstar with traction just like MJ.
The first 2 years were in turmoil, with him embroiled in controversy, but once that was clarified he showed his true colors. The 2005-06 season was his best scoring season, all in the Kobe 1s. From then on, he never stopped making good shoes. The 8 million he paid out of pocket was well justified.
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It’s a move Nike made was awesome – Kobe Bryant is the biggest selling name among all NBA players
Kobe Bryant had the best shoes when it came to basketball – he took such good care of his shoes and the technology in them. This is the same guy who shaved off his soles because they were a few millimeters thicker than usual. The Kobe line has been the sleekest and best traction pattern in the game.
When Jordan retired in 2003, Kobe was the perfect man for the job. Since then, The Black Mambas shoes have been one of the best-designed sneakers, and last year 81 players in the league wore Kobes. He may have spent the 2002-3 season exhausting every other brand, but decided to go with the American sportswear brand.
The partnership between Nike and Kobe Bryant’s estate will continue, according to Vanessa Bryant 💜🐍💛 pic.twitter.com/Vb3VgVK1gp
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) March 24, 2022
Nike may have lost Magic Johnson in the early 80s, but they weren’t letting another Laker icon go so easily. They battled Adidas and Reebok to catch it. The partnership ended 18 years after his death in 2021, but after fan backlash, his estate decided to renew the deal. A kind of hoorah for all Mamba fans around the world!
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