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Vanessa Bryant & Kobe's Estate End Deal with Nike, Star's Wife Says Shoes Will Be Available

Gabrielle Chung
·3-min read

Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant's famous shoe line with Nike is coming to an end.

The late NBA legend's endorsement deal with Nike expired this month after Vanessa Bryant and Kobe's estate did not move forward in renewing the contract with the shoe giant, ESPN reported Monday.

"Kobe's Nike contract expired on 4/13/21. Kobe and Nike have made some of the most beautiful basketball shoes of all time, worn and adored by fans and athletes in all sports across the globe," Vanessa said in a statement shared on her Instagram Story Monday night.

"It seems fitting that more NBA players wear my husband's product than any other signature shoe," she continued. "My hope will always be to allow Kobe's fans to get and wear his products. I will continue to fight for that."

vanessa bryant/instagram Vanessa Bryant's statement

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"Kobe's products sell out in seconds. That says everything," Vanessa said. "I was hoping to forge a lifelong partnership with Nike that reflects my husband's legacy. We will always do everything we can to honor Kobe and Gigi's legacies. That will never change."

A spokesperson for Nike did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment, though the company told ESPN and USA Today in a statement on Monday night, "Kobe Bryant was an important part of Nike's deep connection to consumers."

"He pushed us and made everyone around him better," the statement continued. "Though our contractual relationship has ended, he remains a deeply loved member of the Nike family."

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Kobe signed with Nike in 2003 and continued to be a brand representative after his 2016 retirement from the Los Angeles Lakers, releasing more than a dozen sneakers bearing his name with the sportswear label.

The basketball icon died in 2020 in a helicopter crash that also killed his 13-year-old daughter Gianna "Gigi" Bryant and seven others.

RELATED: Michael Jordan Will Honor Kobe Bryant at Basketball Hall of Fame Ceremony

Earlier this year, Vanessa opened up to PEOPLE about her grief in losing both Kobe and Gianna in the incident.

"I can't say that I'm strong every day," she told PEOPLE in the Women Changing the World issue. "I can't say that there aren't days when I feel like I can't survive to the next."

"This pain is unimaginable [but] you just have to get up and push forward," Vanessa — who is also mom to daughters Natalia, 18, Bianka, 4, and 22-month-old Capri — told PEOPLE. "Lying in bed crying isn't going to change the fact that my family will never be the same again. But getting out of bed and pushing forward is going to make the day better for my girls and for me. So that's what I do."