Change is afoot for the future of Kobe Bryant‘s shoe line.
Nike has ended its contract with Vanessa Bryant and Kobe’s estate following a long relationship with the late NBA legend, E! News has learned. On Monday, April 19, the shoe company issued a statement to E! News, confirming they’re parting ways.
“Kobe Bryant was an important part of Nike’s deep connection to consumers,” read the message. “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, who died tragically in a helicopter crash with 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other individuals on Jan. 26, 2020, first signed with Nike in 2003. He was a major brand representative even after his NBA retirement in 2016.
In December 2020, CBS Sports cited a tweet from entrepreneur Shervin Pishevar, who claimed Kobe told him in December 2019 that the star intended to move on from Nike and launch his own shoe line. E! News has reached out to Vanessa for comment about this claim and has not heard back.