The Nike Kobe Series Faces A Shortage Amongst NBA Players

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NBA athletes, they’re just like us. Not really, but according to an ESPN piece by Brian Windhorst, NBA players are having a hard time finding the Nike Kobe series in their respective sizes.

The main roadblock to this situation is the parting of Kobe Bryant’s estate and Nike last spring which means no new Nike Kobe Protro models are in production. According to ESPN sources, the two parties are still negotiating with the hope of partnering up again, but as of now, the partnership is off.

The lack of Kobes in production has meant that guys in the league are dishing out big money to find pairs in their respective sizes. “I’m not going into a store and finding a [size] 17 in a Kobe. No way,” says Anthony Davis in the ESPN piece, who switched to Kobes when he joined the Los Angeles Lakers in 2019. “I mean, it’s guys’ favorite shoes. A lot of people are inspired by him, and the shoe feels amazing. All of them feel amazing.”

With the average shoe size in the NBA being a US Men’s 15, it’s meant that Nike-sponsored athletes are spending upwards of $1,500 to secure Kobes in their shoe size.

Even for premier Nike athletes like DeMar Derozan, who’s gotten a bevy of Kobe PEs throughout the years, states he’s been stretching out the wears of his Kobes due to the scarcity in his size. “I used to play in a pair once or twice and then give my shoes away to fans,” DeRozan says. “I may not be able to do that as much. I’ve always had so many pairs, but I’m looking at them differently now. Guys are asking me [for them], but I can’t go through them like I did. If it gets bad, I may have to even go to my secret vault.”

Even if the Bryant estate and Nike come to terms on a new agreement, we won’t be seeing Kobes for at least 12-16 months as that’s the timeline for Nike’s production which has been disrupted due to COVID-19.

NBA equipment managers said that some players have switched over to other Nike models, such as the Nike Kyrie 4 Low and the Nike Zoom GT Cut, which share similar cushioning and design setups to the Nike Kobe line.

What are your thoughts? Even on an NBA salary, would you dish out upwards of $1,500 to play in Kobes? Let us know on Twitter and Instagram about how you feel and what you’re currently hooping in.

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