Vanessa Bryant Calls Out Nike Over Apparent 'Mambacita' Shoe Leak
By Lauren Crawford
June 3, 2021
Vanessa Bryant wants answers.
On Thursday (June 3), Vanessa posted on Instagram that she'd recently been alerted that a pair of sneakers she worked on with Nike in honor of her later daughter Gianna were released to the public without her consent.
"It was going to be called the MAMBACITA shoe as an exclusive black and white colorway on her daddy's shoes," she wrote on Instagram alongside a photo of the shoe being held by an unidentified person. "I picked the colors in honor of her uniform, the number 2 she wore just like her uniform, the inside pattern, Kobe and Gigi on the back in gold instead of Kobe's signature, the inside shoe details (butterfly, wings, halo), etc."
Vanessa continued, "The MAMBACITA shoes are NOT approved for sale. I wanted it to be sold to honor my daughter with ALL of the proceeds benefitting our @mambamambacitasports foundation but I did not re-sign the Nike contract to sell these shoes. (The MAMBACITA shoes were not approved to be made in the first place.) Nike has NOT sent any of these pairs to me and my girls."
She additionally asked in the caption of the Instagram Series that anyone who has "Gigi’s MAMBACITA shoe in their possession" share how they acquired them especially since she and her three daughters don’t have the shoes.
Vanessa's post came hours after Bleacher Report Kicks shared a photo on Twitter of the sneakers, which they called the "Nike Kobe 6 Protro Mamba Forever." The outlet also noted that the shoes would be released "later this year."
As reported by the Los Angeles Times, the Kobe 6 Protro Mamba Forever shoes are already "available on resale websites GOAT and Flight Club," with two pair going for $1,500 and $1,800, respectively. Not only that, those on social media have reportedly shared that "a sneaker shop in the United Kingdom called Footpatrol had released the shoes for a raffle that was supposed to be for the Kobe 6 Protro Del Sol colorway."
In April, Vanessa announced on social media that "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," she wrote. "It seems fitting that more NBA players wear my husband's product than any other signature shoe. My hope will always be to allow Kobe's fans to get and wear his products. I will continue to fight for that."
Vanessa concluded her post, writing, "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."
Photo: Getty Images