Vanessa Bryant rejoins the Swoosh family to honor her late husband's legacy.
After Kobe Bryant’s last deal with Nike expired in April of 2021, Vanessa Bryant and the Kobe estate decided not to re-sign with the brand. This resulted in an immediate stop of any Nike Kobe sneakers being produced in the future. Fans were devastated as Kobe’s sneakers became even more sought after than they previously were. But you have to remember, this is bigger than sneakers.
In the time that has passed, Vanessa Bryant has teased upcoming retros of the adidas Kobe line, as well as launching the Mambacita clothing line. adidas themselves have also gone on to confirm numerous Kobe retros slated to release throughout 2022. While each pair isn’t labeled “Kobe” and has been re-named (i.e. the Crazy 1), it remains to be seen what, if any pairs officially release.
Back at Nike, an unauthorized pair of Nike Kobe 6 Protro’s surfaced online via an overseas retailer which caused more issues between Nike and the Bryant family. The pair in question was a “Mambacita” edition of the Kobe 6, designed by Vanessa herself. It was canceled and not approved for production; however, some pairs leaked onto the market. While the sneaker was not officially released, it caused more friction between the two parties and it seemed like Kobe’s line with Nike would continue to disappear as pairs become more scarce on the secondary market.
Fear not Kobe fans, it has just been announced by Vanessa Bryant and Nike that the two have partnered back up! Taking to her official Instagram page to make the announcement, you can see her statement below.
Per Nike’s official statement coinciding with Vanessa Bryant, the partnership “will focus on championing a new generation of fans and encouraging youth participation in sport.” The two will work together to establish a youth basketball court in Southern California, as well as continue to outfit the NBA and WNBA athletes who carry the legacy of the Mamba Mentality. To kick things off, the previously mentioned Nike Kobe 6 Protro “Mambacita Sweet 16” edition will get a retail release. All proceeds from the sales of the “Mambacita Sweet 16” will benefit the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation.
The Nike Kobe 6 Protro Mambacita Sweet 16 currently does not have a release date. However, expect to see it drop in late 2022/early 2023. For all things Kobe, keep it locked to our Twitter and Mobile App to stay up to date on future releases.
Color: Black/White-Metallic Gold
Style Code: CW2190-002
Release Date: 2022
Images via brandon1an
Images via Nike