“You look good, you play good,” is a staple quote for most athletes. For basketball players, that starts with their sneakers.
The Kobe Bryant Nike sneaker line has become the most popular sneaker line in basketball, most notably Kobe models 4, 5, and 6, and that is a fact.
Unfortunately, the prices of Kobes have significantly increased since his passing in January 2020, and after negotiations between the Bryant estate and Nike fell through back in April of this year, the scarcity has continued to increase as there is no longer any production.
While it has been difficult to find Kobes for the common person, it is now starting to affect NBA players.
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst explained that due to scarcity, sizes 14 and up (which are not mass produced) are selling for around $800 USD for the less popular colorways, and for as much as “five figures” on the more popular models.
The situation is affecting former Cats like Anthony Davis, Devin Booker, and Trey Lyles that wear Kobes nearly every game.
“I’m not going into a store and finding a [size] 17 in a Kobe. No way,” said Anthony Davis to ESPN. “I mean, it’s guys’ favorite shoes. … A lot of people are inspired by him, and the shoe feels amazing. All of them feel amazing.”
Fortunately, for AD and Booker, they are two of the highest-paid players in the NBA and two of Nike’s biggest signature athletes, putting themselves in a better position to get their Kobes, than players like Lyles or Herro.
Prior to his passing, Kobe expressed interest in creating his own brand, and the Kobe estate looks to be exploring that option, recently applying for a trademark for “KB24”.
Whether it be renegotiating a contract with Nike or creating a separate brand, hopefully, basketball players and fans alike will soon be able to enjoy Kobe Bryant sneakers without scarcity or price gouging.