Report: Nike planning to relaunch Kobe brand ahead of Mamba Day

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read

Nike reportedly is planning to relaunch its Kobe Bryant brand ahead of Mamba Day (Aug. 24) of this year.

Bryant, a Los Angeles Lakers legend, tragically passed away in a helicopter accident in January of 2020. One of the greatest players in Lakers and NBA history, Bryant’s legacy will continue to live on through his Nike brand.

During his playing career, Bryant had several signature shoes, and they were – and still are – worn by players across the league.

Chicago Bulls star DeMar DeRozan explained back in 2020 what makes Bryant’s shoes so special, and why they are a favorite to wear.

“It’s going to be up there with Jordan when it comes to the [Michael] Jordan line,” DeRozan said. “The Kobe line is going to be the next line that you definitely got to talk about. His legacy to how he changed the game of footwear, just like Jordan did before, taking his shoe game to a whole different level.”

Bryant actually began his NBA career as an Adidas athlete, but he signed with Nike in 2003. His first signature Nike shoe – the Zoom Kobe 1 – was crafted in 2005, and he had signature shoes made throughout his playing career and into his retirement.

During his playing career, Bryant averaged 25.0 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game while shooting 44.7 percent from the field and 32.9 percent from beyond the arc. He will forever be one of the most important figures in Lakers history, as he led the team to tremendous success during his career.

Over his storied NBA career, Bryant was named to 18 All-Star teams and won two scoring titles. 

Los Angeles won five NBA titles under Bryant’s guidance, and he won two NBA Finals MVPs in the process. Bryant was a part of one of the greatest duos in NBA history with Shaquille O’Neal, and he found success after O’Neal left the Lakers by teaming up with Pau Gasol in Los Angeles.

The Lakers have retired all the numbers won by all three players for their great success with the franchise.

It will be interesting to see what Nike has come up with for the relaunch of the Kobe brand and how much his family will be involved with the process. Fans now have to wait just less than two months for the relaunch to happen.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.