Entertainment

Vanessa Bryant Ends Relationship With Nike After They Reportedly Low-Balled Her and Slacked On Kobe Products

Photo via Getty Images

On Tuesday, Kobe Bryant’s widow, Vanessa Bryant announced that she chose not to renew the Bryant estate’s contract with Nike. Nike will no longer release Kobe products. Vanessa Bryant took to Twitter to announce the news.

In a statement, Vanessa Bryant said that she had been “hoping to forge a lifelong partnership with Nike that reflects my husband’s legacy.” But apparently, the brand didn’t want to play ball.

“Kobe and Nike have made some of the most beautiful basketball shoes of all time, worn and adored by fans and athletes in all sports across the globe,” Vanessa said. “It seems fitting that more NBA players wear my husband’s product than any other signature shoe.”

She continued: “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.”

To some fans, Vanessa’s statement left them feeling like the Bryant estate and Nike ended on less-than-friendly terms.

https://twitter.com/NBAKicks/status/1381986843206373383?s=20

The specific language Vanessa used in the statement betrayed the fact that Nike didn’t offer the Bryant estate the contract that they had been hoping for. The fact that she said she had been “hoping to form a lifelong partnership” and she will “fight” for Kobe’s fans means that Nike fell short of her expectations.

Per ESPN, Nike presented Vanessa with a contract that “was not in line” with similar contracts they had offered comparable players, like Michael Jordan and LeBron James. So basically, Nike was trying to lowball Vanessa and the Bryant estate.

Insiders say that another reason that Vanessa declined to renew the partnership was because Nike was slacking on the Kobe line.

For a while now, customers have been struggling to find Kobe footwear products on the open market. Instead, they’ve been forced to buy the products at super-marked-up resell markets.

Also per ESPN: “Bryant and the estate had grown frustrated with Nike limiting the availability of Kobe products during his retirement and after his January 2020 death in a helicopter crash. There was also frustration with the lack of availability of Kobe footwear in kids’ sizes, according to sources.”

For the most part, Kobe fans rallied around Vanessa Bryant’s decision not to renew a partnership with Nike.

According to rumblings on Twitter, it appears that Nike was profiting off of Kobe Bryant’s death because of the large uptick in in sales after his death.

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Vanessa Bryant Wishes Gianna Happy Birthday On What Would Have Been Her Late Daughter’s 15th Birthday

Entertainment

Vanessa Bryant Wishes Gianna Happy Birthday On What Would Have Been Her Late Daughter’s 15th Birthday

Photo via vanessabryant/Instagram

The grieving process continues for Vanessa Bryant on her daughter, Gianna’s, birthday. If you have lost a loved one, you know that milestones like anniversaries, birthdays, and holidays can be especially hard. Days that would’ve been joyful in the past become bittersweet at best, and unbearable at worst.

On Friday, Vanessa Bryant took to Instagram to pay tribute to her late daughter, Gianna “Gigi” Bryant, who passed away last January in a tragic helicopter accident.

Vanessa Bryant posted a throwback photo of her and Gigi from years ago. A young Gigi sits in her mother’s lap. Vanessa’s arms are wrapped around her young daughter.

Vanessa Bryant’s birthday tribute to Gigi was short and sweet: “Dear Gianna, Happy 15th Birthday! [heart emoji] [kiss emoji] I love you! I miss you everyday! I wish you were here with us. There are no words to express how much I miss you. I love you Mamacita!”

Then, Vanessa Bryant tagged the birthday post #Quincenera, #Principessa and #Mambacita. As you may know, Gianna Bryant was dubbed “mambacita” because she loved basketball just as much as her father, the Black Mamba himself.

Just last month, Vanessa Bryant also celebrated what would have been her 20th anniversary with her late husband, Kobe Bryant.

On April 18th, Vanessa Bryant posted a beautiful photo of her and Kobe on their wedding day. “Happy Anniversary, baby. I love you. 20 years,” she wrote.

By publicly acknowledging Gigi Bryant’s 15th birthday even though she’s no longer here, Vanessa Bryant is doing exactly what grief counselors suggest. “Don’t ever feel you have to apologize for grieving. It’s what you need to do, even if it makes others uncomfortable, and you’re apology is unnecessary,” says renowned grief counselor Dr. Ken Druck.

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This Mother Day Ad Featuring Vanessa And Natalia Bryant Is All We Needed Right Now

Entertainment

This Mother Day Ad Featuring Vanessa And Natalia Bryant Is All We Needed Right Now

Bulgari

It’s been more than a year of ups and downs for the Bryant family after losing both Kobe and 13-year-old Gianna. But out of their incredible loss and mourning, the family has come together and celebrated many milestones and special moments. From Natalia’s modeling career and acceptance to USC to Vanessa’s branding campaign, the family has kept themselves busy.

Now, mother and daughter are teaming up for a beautiful Mother’s Day ad and it’s everything we could want and need right now.

Vanessa and Natalia Bryant are starring in Mother’s Day ad for Bulgari.

Few people have been through as much as the Bryant family has over the past year. But they continue to show just how resilient and united they are. Case in point: Vanessa and Natalia are starring in a Mother’s Day ad for Italian jewellery company Bulgari.

The duo stars in a new campaign video for Bulgari and Vogue titled “A Mother’s Legacy,” in which the 18-year-old tells her mother, “You’re the strongest person I’ve ever known. We connect on a whole different level, and I feel like that’s rare in mother-daughter relationships.”

Replies Vanessa, 38, “I wish that I had someone like you when I was growing up … You’re like the constant North Star to all your friends.”

Natalia also praises her mother for “always [looking] for the positive side of any situation” and teaching her to do the same, adding, “You’ve always been my rock my entire life.”

Reaction to the moving ad has been swift and positive.

The family’s famous friends couldn’t get enough of the moving clip. “This is the most stunning and heartfelt video. You both are constant lights,” Lily Collins commented on Natalia’s Instagram post of the Mother’s Day-themed ad. “This warmed my heart so much,” singer Chloe Bailey added.

The ad for Bulgari is also just the beginning for 18-year-old Natalia who recently signed with IMG Models as she looks to pursue a career in fashion.

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