Adidas plans to bring back two Kobe Bryant sneakers in 2022
The divorce between Kobe Bryant’s estate and Nike has been messy: After Vanessa Bryant let her late husband’s contract with the Swoosh expire earlier this year, the company began producing Nike Kobe 6 Protro “Mambacita” sneakers , which Ms Bryant said were designed in honor of her late daughter Gigi and was never intended to be manufactured (specifically by Nike). Still, the shoes ended up in the hands of dealers, who offered the shoes online for nearly $ 7,000 before their listings were ultimately deleted.
Clearly, Nike’s disrespect kept the Bryant estate from participating in other brand deals; Vanessa has also launched her own brand “Mambacita” to make future commemorative drops. Again Complex reports that in 2022, Adidas plans to re-release two of the sneakers Kobe Bryant wore while under contract with the German sportswear brand in the late 90s and early 2000s.
A nod to the good old days – Bryant’s signature 2001 sneakers, the Kobe 1 and the EQT Elevation (a shoe he wore in his 1997 NBA rookie season), are expected to return next year, according to a source familiar with Adidas‘ upcoming releases. Complex.
Adidas’ EQT Elevation is set to be re-released in its original “Lakers” glory, while hitting the shelves in a blue and orange makeup that graces the pitch and stub of the 1997 NBA All-Star Game ticket. The Kobe “Sunshine” 1, featuring a bold yellow upper and black soles, joins retro sneakers alongside a ‘Stormtrooper’ offering with white uppers and black soles.
A Kobe shoe, without Kobe – But without the approval of Bryant’s estate, Adidas must market the retro shoes without actually using Kobe’s name – something the brand already did even as Bryant was still alive and signed with Nike. To avoid using the likeness of the late basketball player, the EQT Elevation will be called the Crazy 97 EQT, while the Kobe 1 will be known as Crazy 1.
Marketing may revolve around next year’s NBA All-Star Game and other notable basketball events, although Adidas probably refrains from mentioning Bryant too explicitly. Expect more of the “if you know, you know” hype to surround the next sneakers.
Adidas has not announced the Crazy 97 EQT or the Crazy 1 – images of the sneakers are unauthorized leaks by the brand, courtesy of Complexsource.