Vanessa Bryant continues to manage Kobe’s affairs since the former Laker’s passing, including his collaboration with Nike. An announcement on this subject also made him unpin on social networks, setting fire to an All-Star who had not asked for anything before deleting his message in stride.
Whether Kobe Bryant has been gone for two and a half years now, his legacy is still very present in the world of sport. Its equipment supplier Nike is particularly keen to keep the flame of the five-time champion alive, by keeping its line of sneakers on the market, for example. As the insider Shams Charania revealed, the latter has been able to keep its standard bearer recently, in the person of DeMar DeRozan:
Freshly elected to the All-NBA Second Team, Chicago Bulls star DeMar DeRozan signs a new four-year contract with Nike that keeps him as the star face of Kobe Bryant’s iconic line. DeRozan has worn Kobe’s shoes since entering the league in 2009 – and in college before that – and will continue to be a figurehead for those who wear these shoes on the court.
DeMar DeRozan flag bearer of Kobe’s sneakers
The player’s choice is symbolic, because DMDR is known to have been very close to Vino for many years. Being young, he idolized the Mamba! However, Charania’s claim that the guard would be the “face” of Kobe’s shoes didn’t appeal to Vanessa Bryant, the Laker’s widow. She therefore posted a series of shattering messages on Instagram, before deleting them almost on the spot. Of course, she didn’t blame the player, but rather the journalist:
Fake. He is not the face of Kobe’s line. No one is.
I love that he is a Kobe fan but that description is wrong. It is misinformation. Only Kobe is the face of his line. If this changes in the future, I’m sure Nike and I will make a statement to announce it.
We can understand the nervousness of Vanessa Bryant, who did not appreciate that someone other than her husband was designated as the face of her own brand. There is no doubt, however, that DeMar DeRozan does not see himself replacing the Mamba, adulating him since his youth.