During his lifetime, Kobe Bryant is often remembered as someone who was famous and mean-spirited against the competition. You were either with him or against him, there was no in-between. After his divorce from Shaquille O’Neal, we had to wait 11 years later on Shaq’s podcast they invented and cleaned the air. This mentality has helped him achieve the accolades he has managed to achieve during his career.
Bryant signed with the Adidas brand from 1996 – when he was drafted – until 2002. At the time, his divorce from Adidas was a huge deal as he became acrimonious to the point that he didn’t want anything to do with it. do with the brand.
ESPN writer Marc J. Spears recently shared an anecdote with Kris Johnson about when Bryant was not giving Spears an interview because Spears was wearing Adidas clothes. He allowed Spears to interview him on the condition that Spears make a video of himself ransacking his Adidas tracksuit and shoes after the interview.
Talk about next-level pettiness. Once something died for the Black Mamba, he didn’t want anything to do with it anymore.
After the release of the Kobe 2 in 2000, sales exploded and Bryant wanted to end his contract. Bryant would have paid himself $ 8 million to withdraw from his Adidas contract after the summer of 2002. The buyout was on condition that he could not sign with another brand until 2003.
According to GQ magazine:
It’s not fair to say that the Kobe Two made Kobe Bryant jump ship at Adidas in favor of the [Nike] Swoosh, but in 2001 it was rumored that even he thought they were ugly and horrible, which led him to return to the slightly better Kobe One in the NBA Finals that year.
After 2003, he signed a four-year, $ 40 million contract with Nike at the age of 24. Nike and Bryant maintained a business relationship until the start of the year, when the estate of Bryant and Nike agreed not to renew their contract.