Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant is one of the most iconic NBA players of all time.
Many players in the league today grew up idolizing the Hall of Famer. Countless players also wear his signature shoes made by Nike.
— B/R Kicks (@brkicks) November 1, 2021
Booker lacing up in rare UNDFTD Kobe 4 🔥
— B/R Kicks (@brkicks) July 10, 2021
— B/R Kicks (@brkicks) October 31, 2021
Zach LaVine is a sneaker free agent after his Adidas deal expired
He’s wearing the Nike Kobe 9 Elite Low “Beethoven” tonight in preseason pic.twitter.com/2vPrLny80u
— B/R Kicks (@brkicks) October 9, 2021
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst took a look into why players around the league are now hoarding different versions of Bryant’s shoes.
Windhorst mentioned that some players have been paying lots of money in order to secure pairs they are looking for.
“Over the past two years, a number of players who’d previously been with Under Armour and Adidas did not have their sneaker endorsement contracts renewed, a trend that was accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” wrote Windhorst. “Many of the new sneaker free agents went looking for Kobes. It all adds up to a large contingent who now have a source problem for their Kobe needs.
“There are still supplies on sale at some retailers, but not in great numbers in the sizes NBA players typically need. The scarcity of larger sizes has driven a pricing boom on secondary shoe resale websites like StockX, GOAT and eBay.
“NBA players who wear size 14 or larger are looking at spending at least $800 for the most basic models of Kobes, and that’s not what they typically wear. But the players are paying, with several telling ESPN they’ve spent more than five figures buying supplies of Kobes on the secondary market since last spring and summer.”
Lakers superstar Anthony Davis offered some insight regarding why some players are paying such high amounts for these shoes.
“I’m not going into a store and finding a [size] 17 in a Kobe. No way,” said Davis. “I mean, it’s guys’ favorite shoes. … A lot of people are inspired by him and the shoe feels amazing. All of them feel amazing.”
Nike currently isn’t producing any more versions of Bryant’s shoes after the expiration of the 18-time All-Star’s deal with the company.
It will be interesting to see if Nike ends up producing more of Bryant’s shoes sometime in the future, but for now it looks like NBA players will have to continue paying a premium in order to secure versions of these shoes.