NBA Rumor: Kobe Bryant Sneaker Deal

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NBA players hoarding Kobe Bryant's Nike sneaker line

“If you weren’t in on them for the last few years,” says DeRozan, a longtime Kobe model enthusiast, “you’re having a tough time.” Kobes are now considered “deadstock,” taking them into a vintage market that ups the ante. NBA players have chased deadstock shoes for years, often to add to their collections to wear or display off the court. Miami Heat forward P.J. Tucker is known for wearing high-end vintage models in games, but he’s an outlier.

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The current situation around Kobes is a whole new game, even for players paid to wear Nikes. Giddey, who signed a multiyear deal with Nike before the season, and players like him are spending more than $1,500 on pairs of Kobes right now as they try to stock up for this season and beyond. Their agents are sniffing around for them, calling in favors and hunting the secondary market for their clients, but without much success. “I’ve had a few guys reach out to me for help,” says Phoenix Suns star Devin Booker said. “I’ll never run out of Kobes.”

Either way, as this season rolls on and the supplies of the remaining Kobes begin to dwindle with no replacements, the demand for the late Hall of Famer’s beloved shoe design will only increase. In a time when some players are dabbling in cryptocurrency investments, there might be a new exchange developing as more players get desperate. “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,” DeRozan says. “If it gets bad, I may have to even go to my secret vault.”
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November 28, 2021 | 12:08 am EST Update
But when the Timberwolves needed a defensive stop down one in their 121-120 double overtime victory over Philadelphia, the Wolves weren’t taking Russell off the floor. He delivered with a steal that led to the winning bucket from Taurean Prince with 4.8 seconds remaining in the second overtime. “Criticism, I try to stay away from it,” Russell said. “My boys criticize me more than media.” His boys were singing his praises after Saturday. “That’s probably one of the best D’Angelo Russell performances I’ve ever seen,” Towns said. “I’ve seen him get 50 against us, but the difference between this game and that game … is the defense he played as well as the offense he gave us.”