Adidas claims that they will be looking to re-release two Kobe Bryant sneakers that the Lakers legend wore in the late 90s and early 2000s.
Adidas seems to have really ‘fumbled the bag’ when it comes to signing generational superstars. Hall-of-Famers such as Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Steph Curry all decided to look a different direction and eventually signed long term deals with the likes of Nike and Under Armor. Adidas was fortunate enough to have Kobe Bryant for the first few years of his NBA career though.
During his first season in the league in 1997, Adidas released the EQT Elevation that Kobe wore throughout his rookie campaign. They were not signature shoes as the public was not all too fond of Kobe Bryant during his first year and there was still doubt surrounding his ability to become a star in the league.
Bryant would receive his first signature shoe a couple years down the line with the Kobe 1 in 2001. This would come after he won his first championship with the Los Angeles Lakers, en route to his second straight title. By this time, the name Kobe Bryant was a household one so having a sneaker with his name on it was an easy decision to greenlight.
Adidas to release classic Kobe Bryant sneakers in 2022.
The contract Kobe had signed with Adidas in 1996, ended in 2003. The ‘Black Mamba’ used this as an opportunity to jump ship and sign a long-term deal with Nike. Fast-forward to today and the contract he had with Nike expired on April 13th of 2021.
The contract hasn’t been renewed due to Vanessa Bryant and the Bryant estate being frustrated with how Nike wasn’t keeping Kobes readily available following the death of the NBA icon.
Report: Adidas plans to re-release two Kobe Bryant retro shoes in 2022 that Kobe wore when he was signed with Adidas, via @brendandunne
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) July 14, 2021
More than a year and a half after the unfortunate incident involving the Lakers legend, sources have told Complex that Adidas has a few Kobe related projects in the work. The one that is known to the public as of today is them planning on re-releasing the aforementioned EQT Elevations and the Kobe 1s.
It’s unclear if this has been greenlit by the Bryant estate or if these shoes will be re-released under the guise of a different athlete, but it’s safe to say that fans are excited to see Kobe Bryant shoes take to the shelfs once again.