It came as a surprise to everyone Monday when news broke that Kobe Bryant and Nike were no more. According to multiple reports, the long-standing contract between Kobe and Nike ended April 13th with no renewal signing by Bryant’s estate. The contractual ending means it could be the end of the long relationship between Bryant and Nike unless the two parties can agree to a new contract which isn’t very uncommon in athlete and sportswear brand deals. Prior to Kobe’s untimely passing multiple reports stated the legendary basketball player was unhappy at Nike stating he was a low priority at Nike’s basketball division at the time, his shoes not warranting the marketing attention the brand was giving to its active NBA stars with signature lines like Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and LeBron James. In December 2020 venture capitalists Shervin Pishevar tweeted that he met with Kobe before his passing where he said Bryant stated he was unhappy with Nike and had plans to start a player-owned, independent sneaker company called Mamba. Stay tuned for more information as this story develops.