On the heels of NBA legend Kobe Bryant's shocking tragic death, Nike has made a decision to cease all Kobe-related items from its Nike.com website from being sold. Searches for Bryant's products currently only provide one result: a purple and yellow Nike gift card bearing the Los Angeles Lakers' logo, as ESPN reports.
The brand is currently reevaluating its ongoing strategy for releasing Bryant's signature shoe series. In the interim, Nike hopes to limit resellers' ability to stockpile an inventory of existing products, only to sell them on the underground market at astronomical prices.
Bryant was considered a true partner at the brand and was more than an endorsing athlete. He worked in tandem with executives, designers, developers, and employees throughout Nike's corporate structure since he joined the brand in 2003.
Bryant's signature series has long been lauded in the sneaker industry for its advances in design and innovation. Kobe Bryant's shoes have already been worn by over 100 NBA players, which is almost a quarter of the league.
"I'm telling you, it was like when Harry Potter landed in Hogwarts," Bryant said of Nike several years ago, with a laugh. "He was home. I'm always around a bunch of people who are competitive and just as competitive as I am or just as passionate about the sport as I am."