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Vanessa Bryant Slams Nike After Kobe Bryant Memorial Shoes Leak Without Permission

by : Daniel Richardson on : 03 Jun 2021 17:06
Vanessa Bryant Slams Nike After Kobe Bryant Memorial Shoes Leak Without PermissionPA Images/brandon1an/Instagram

Vanessa Bryant has criticised Nike after leaked images emerged of a Kobe and Gianna Bryant memorial shoe without the family’s permission.

Legendary basketball player Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna tragically died in a helicopter crash on January 26, 2020. In the wake of the incident, there was an outpouring of grief from fans of the player and those who were saddened by the news.

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A leaked image of a Nike shoe, apparently designed to pay tribute to the late basketballer and his daughter, has now caused controversy as Kobe’s wife Vanessa did not approve the shoe to be made. Though she helped design the footwear, she split with the brand earlier this year and did not approve production.

Nike shoe (Instagram/Vanessa Bryant)Instagram/Vanessa Bryant

In response to the leaked images, Vanessa Bryant took to Instagram to explain the situation:

This is a shoe I worked on in honor of my daughter, Gianna. It was going to be called the MAMBACITA shoe as an exclusive black and white colorway on her daddy’s shoes.

I picked the colors in honor of her uniform, the number 2 she wore just like her uniform, the inside pattern, Kobe and Gigi on the back in gold instead of Kobe’s signature, the inside shoe details (butterfly, wings, halo), etc.

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It is unclear exactly how the shoes were made, but a photo suggests that someone has somehow got hold of a pair.

Vanessa continued:

The MAMBACITA shoes are NOT approved for sale. I wanted it to be sold to honor my daughter with ALL of the proceeds benefitting our @mambamambacitasports foundation but I did not re-sign the Nike contract to sell these shoes. (The MAMBACITA shoes were not approved to be made in the first place.) Nike has NOT sent any of these pairs to me and my girls.

Statement from Vanessa Bryant on Instagram (Vanessa Bryant/Instagram)Instagram/Vanessa Bryant
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Following comments about the shoe, the poster of the images clarified they did not own a pair:

I just want to make it clear that I don’t own a pair of those Mambacita Kobes.

The pictures I posted are official product pictures from a Nike authorized retailer. Unfortunately for [Vanessa Bryant], Nike clearly sent pairs to this retailer (as well as others) with the intent of selling pairs.

Nike has yet to comment on the release of the shoe, but it is clear that the product has been made without the permission of the Bryant family, and if they are released they will undoubtedly prove controversial.

Featured Image Credit: PA Images/brandon1an/Instagram

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Daniel Richardson

After graduating from university, Dan went on to work with a variety of tech startups and media outlets. Through working with the likes of Game Rant, The Hook and What Culture, Dan pursued his interests in technology. The skills he picked up along the way are now being utilised with UNILAD.

Topics: Sport, Gianna Bryant, Kobe Bryant, News, Nike, shoes, Trainers, Vanessa Bryant

Credits

Vanessa Bryant/Instagram
  1. Vanessa Bryant/Instagram

    @vanessabryant