Nike hasn’t pulled any products in the wake of Kobe Bryant’s death, the company confirmed today, despite multiple reports suggesting the brand has suspended the sale of items on its Nike.com web store.
As of this morning, visitors to the site who enter the late NBA superstar’s name into Nike.com’s search tool are redirected to the Beaverton, Ore.-based firm’s statement that followed news of Bryant’s tragic death on Sunday. Some outlets had reported that Nike had suspended the sale of Bryant-related products or that the athletic apparel company is reevaluating its strategy for the release of Bryant’s signature shoe series moving forward. However, sources told FN that the redirect is not because products had been pulled but rather because currently stocked Bryant-associated merchandise had sold out.
“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,” Nike’s statement read. “He was a beloved member of the Nike family. We will miss him greatly. Mamba forever.”
Bryant made 18 All-Star teams and won five NBA championships, two NBA Finals MVPs and one league MVP during his 20-year career in the NBA. He was a longtime Nike athlete, with a signature shoe line called the Kobe and his own holiday, Mamba Day, celebrated on Aug. 24 — an homage to Bryant’s two jersey numbers, 8 and 24.
The basketball legend, who was 41, died alongside 13-year-old daughter Gianna as well as seven others in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26 in California. He was on his way to the teenager’s basketball tournament. News of his passing generated an outpouring of grief and shock across the country, prompting fellow athletes, celebrities, A-listers, industry leaders and fans to pay tribute to Bryant on social media as well as on the national stage at the 2020 Grammy Awards.
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