New information from sources claims that the basketball legend had plans to start his own sneaker brand.
Millions of hearts around the world were shattered when news broke that basketball icon Kobe Bryant had passed away in a tragic accident. Kobe, who was 41 at the time of his death in January, retired playing basketball after the 2015-16 season, having spent his entire 20-year career on the Los Angeles Lakers. Also among the chapters Bryant planned to close before his death, the Hall of Famer allegedly had plans to leave Nike and start his own shoe company.
According to new details being revealed on Twitter by entrepeneur and co-founder of Virgin Hyperloop Shervin Pishevar, Bryant was reportedly unhappy in his current deal with Nike and wanted to instead start a player-owned shoe company under the Mamba label.
“I met with Kobe Bryant in late December 2019. Kobe wasn’t happy with Nike and was going to leave it in 2020. Kobe was going to start Mamba, a shoe company owned by players,” tweeted Pishevar. “He passed away weeks later. What he was about to do in business was going to eclipse his sports career.”
Pishevar took the claims a step further, posting a picture of the potential designs the two had worked on together for the silhouette of the shoe. Bryant’s relationship with Nike dates back to 2003 when he left Adidas to sign with the brand, releasing his first shoe with them in 2006. Pishevar also claimed that Kobe wasn’t happy with Nike’s weak marketing and promotion which he believes caused the shoes to underperform in sales.
Nike has yet to comment on the matter. Do you guys think Kobe’s Mamba line would’ve done better than his line with Nike? Let us know in the comments!