Vanessa Bryant calls out Nike for early release of sneakers: “NOT approved for sale”

Former NBA legend Kobe Bryant’s wife said she designed the pair of black and white shoes as a tribute to her daughter Gianna’s basketball uniform.

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June 4, 2021

2 minutes to read

Vanessa Bryant took to Instagram on Thursday to take on Nike for posting images of a sneaker made in honor of her late daughter Gianna ahead of their release.

“Mambacita shoes are NOT approved for sale,” Bryant wrote in his article.

Former NBA legend Kobe Bryant’s wife said she designed the pair of shoes in black and white as a tribute to Gianna’s basketball uniform.

Other details on the shoes also have sentimental significance, like the number “2” to honor Gianna’s basketball number and the names of Kobe and Gianna engraved on the sides of the shoe.

“I didn’t quit the Nike contract and decided not to sell these shoes,” said Bryant.

Another photo on her Instagram post shows what appears to be someone holding the shoe, which infuriated Bryant, who wrote that she and her other daughters had yet to receive any pair of the sneakers themselves.

“I’m not sure how someone else got their hands on shoes I designed in honor of my daughter, Gigi, and not us,” Bryant wrote. “I hope these shoes didn’t sell.”

While there is no record of the sneaker on Nike’s website, it appears Milwaukee Bucks star Khris Middleton wore the sneakers in Game 4 of the NBA Playoffs against the Miami Heat.

Bryant wrote that the shoes were intended to benefit the Mamba & Mambacita Foundation, a non-profit organization founded in honor of Kobe and Gianna that benefits young female athletes and other underserved athletes.

Nike has yet to reply to Vanessa Bryant’s message.

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