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Kobe Bryant’s contract with Nike expires

Kobe Bryant plays his last game as a Laker against the Utah Jazz.
Kobe Bryant plays his last game as a Laker against the Utah Jazz on April 13, 2016.
(Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times)

Kobe Bryant’s contract with Nike has expired, the sneaker giant confirmed Monday.

“Kobe Bryant was an important part of Nike’s deep connection to consumers,” Nike said in a statement. “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.”

Sources confirm to The Times that Bryant’s estate didn’t renew his deal with Nike upon its expiration, opening the door for his name and likeness to be used elsewhere.

“My hope will always be to allow Kobe’s fans to get and wear his products,” Vanessa Bryant said Monday night in a statement to ESPN. “I will continue to fight for that. Kobe’s products sell out in seconds. That says everything.

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Center Andre Drummond had his best game for the Lakers in the defeat of Utah, making big defensive plays before helping seal the victory in overtime.

“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.”

Kobe Bryant and 13-year-old daughter Gianna were among nine people killed in a helicopter crash Jan. 26, 2020, in Calabasas.

Kobe Bryant joined Nike in 2003 after beginning his career with Adidas. In the 18 years since, his signature line of sneakers have become some of the most popular in the NBA. Special editions of vintage Bryant sneakers often quickly sell out to the frustration of buyers.

Vanessa Bryant posted on social media in December that she was hoping to work with Nike to make it easier “for fans to have a better opportunity to get some Kobe’s.”

Times staff writer Broderick Turner contributed to this report.


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