“He Is Not The Face Of The Kobe Line, No One Is” | Vanessa Bryant Blasts NBA Insider For Making False Claim
On Monday it was announced that Chicago Bulls star DeMar DeRozan had his deal with shoe and apparel giant Nike renewed for another four years. Upon hearing of the news NBA insider/reporter Shams Charania tweeted that DeRozan would continue to be the face of the “Mamba” line.
“Fresh off making All-NBA second team, Chicago Bulls star DeMar DeRozan is signing a new four-year deal with Nike that keeps him as the featured face of Kobe Bryant’s iconic line.”
If anyone ever had the chance to do so maybe it should be “Debo,” as DeRozan is referred to in his neighborhood of Compton, CA. He wears Kobe’s signature shoe every time he steps on the hardwood.
But that announcement didn’t seem to sit to well with Kobe Bryant’s widow, Vanessa Bryant who was quick to send a tweet debunking Charania’s notion.
“False. He is not the face of the Kobe line. No one is.”
Vanessa isn’t taking anything concerning her late husband’s legacy lightly. And especially considering the battle she had with the shoe giant following Kobe’s tragic and untimely death.
Bryant Thanks DeRozan: But Makes It Clear That Kobe Is The Face
Vanessa did say she loves that DeRozan is a supporter of the brand, but only Kobe is the face of it.
“No they didn’t. LOVE that he’s a Kobe supporter but the caption is false. It’s misinformation. Only Kobe is the face of his line. If that changes in the future, then I’m sure Nike and I will release a statement announcing it.”
No player in the league wears Kobe’s “Mamba,” sneakers more than DeRozan. He’s followed by Phoenix Suns star Devin Booker and Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis, all can be seen playing in Bryant’s shoes almost entirely. In fact, I’ve never seen DeRozan or Booker play in anyone else’s sneakers.
So, while no one should probably ever be the face outside of Kobe, it’s really cool to see players around the league supporting his legacy. In fact his shoe is the most worn signature shoe in the NBA.
Bryant And Nike Had Some Tense Moments:
Bryant’s contract with Nike expired April 2021, and at that time, Vanessa Bryant and Nike elected not to move forward as partners. The sticking point for Bryant was Nike limiting Kobe gear to fans and supporters in his retirement and his unfortunate death. At that time hear what Vanessa said in a released statement.
“My hope will always be to allow Kobe’s fans to get and wear his products. I will continue to fight for that. Kobe’s products sell out in seconds. That says everything.
“I was hoping to forge a lifelong partnership with Nike that reflects my husband’s legacy. We will always do everything we can to honor Kobe and Gigi’s legacies. That will never change.”
In March 2022, it was announced that Nike and Kobe Bryant’s estate would once again partner to honor Kobe and daughter Gigi’s legacy. Heres what she said via Instagram at the time of the announcement.
“We’re excited to announce our partnership with Nike is going to continue! I am so proud that my husband’s shoes are still the most worn by players on NBA courts and the demand for his shoes remain so desired by his fans around the world.”
Now you see why no one else will ever be the face of Kobe’s line. It’s the closest thing she has outside of her and their three beautiful girls, that he loved immensely.
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