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Nike Says They Didn't Pull Kobe Bryant Products from Website, They Sold Out

Georgia Slater

Kobe Bryant items can no longer be found on the Nike website since the passing of the Los Angeles Lakers star on Sunday.

According to the athletic brand, they have sold out of all Bryant-related products, despite reports that they were pulled from the website in order to limit the resell of the NBA star’s merchandise so that items wouldn’t later be resold at a higher price.

While Byrant, who signed a $40 million deal with the brand in 2003, used to have tons of Nike-branded merchandise available, site searches for “Kobe” now yields only two Lakers-themed Nike gift cards.

If a customer continues to search and types in the athlete’s full name, the website automatically redirects to Nike’s memorial message for the NBA legend.

“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. He was a beloved member of the Nike family. We will miss him greatly. Mamba forever,” the message reads.

According to ESPN, Nike is currently discussing whether to move forward with the release of a new celebratory colorway of the Kobe 5 Protro sneaker, initially set for release on Feb. 7 or postpone the launch.

RELATED: Remembering Kobe Bryant: Inside the Life and Legacy of the Sports Icon and ‘Intensely Proud’ Dad

 

Kobe 5 Protro Chaos Kobe Byrant Nike | Nike

Several consignment stores have also vowed to not sell Bryant’s sneakers or will not allow price changes on the items so that sellers are unable to profit off of the athlete’s death.

According to ESPN, Bryant sneakers and merchandise have already seen a 200-300 percent spike in prices in just 24 hours.

RELATED: Kobe Bryant to Be Inducted into Basketball Hall of Fame After His Tragic Death, Says Chairman

Urban Necessities, a Las Vegas consignment shop, sent an email to their sellers saying, “Out of respect for his family and legacy, we will not allow price changes on Kobe items.”

RIF Los Angeles, a popular sneaker outpost in the city, also told their customers, “We will not be selling any Kobes till further notice. All Kobes have been pulled off the floor and all online orders have been refunded.”

Though it may be harder to now obtain Bryant merchandise, fans are finding other ways to honor the late legend.

Star athletes, celebrities and fans, have come together to petition for the official logo of the NBA to be changed to a silhouette of Byrant, replacing that of former Lakers player Jerry West.

Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

“With the untimely and unexpected passing of the great Kobe Bryant please sign this petition in an attempt to immortalize him forever as the new NBA Logo,” a Change.org petition for the logo reads.

In just two days, the petition has gained more than 1.6 million signatures, which the creator of the petition, Nick M., said he “didn’t expect” when he first launched the page.

“The support on this petition has been out of this WORLD. I want to deeply thank everybody who contributed through signing and donating to the petition. When I started this I didn’t expect much to come out of it my goal was 100 signatures at best,” Nick wrote.

Bryant will also be honored by the basketball community and is set to posthumously become a Hall of Famer. Although the final list of players who will be inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame 2020 class has yet to be revealed, the late NBA legend — who was announced as a nominee in December 2019 — will be among the players honored, according to chairman Jerry Colangelo.

Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna were two of the nine victims who were killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas on Sunday.

Bryant is survived by wife Vanessa, 37, and three of their four children: daughters Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7 months.