This week, the world has been mourning the loss of one of the greatest basketball players in history, Kobe Bryant, along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife Kerri and their daughter Alyssa, mother and daughter Sarah and Payton Chester, Mamba Academy basketball coach Christina Mauser and pilot Ara Zobayan.
To pay tribute to Bryant and deter resellers from profiting off of his sudden death, it’s been reported that Nike has pulled all of its Kobe Bryant products from its website. Other reports are also claiming that Nike has asked select retailers to return Kobe products and the sportswear giant is currently debating what to do about the upcoming release of a brand-new colourway of Bryant’s Kobe 5 Protro sneaker.
However, a Nike spokesperson told Forbes that, contrary to belief, Nike has actually sold out of Kobe products as opposed to pulling them. Since Tuesday morning, search results for “Kobe” on the Nike website only displayed an LA Lakers-themed gift card and the brand is yet to make a statement on when Kobe products are expected to return.
In honour of the legendary NBA star, Nike’s Kobe page now plays host to a touching tribute which reads, “Kobe was one of the greatest athletes of his generation and has had an immeasurable impact on the world of sport and the community of basketball. He was a beloved member of the Nike family. We will miss him greatly. Mamba forever.”
Many of Bryant’s closest friends paid their respects to the Bryant, Albotelli, Payton, Mauser and Zobayan families with LeBron, Ye and Drake all offering their condolences.
All fans can do now is pay their respects and wait patiently for Bryant’s sneakers to return when the time is right.