Vanessa Bryant Calls Out Nike for Early Release of Sneakers: 'NOT Approved For Sale' The wife of former NBA legend Kobe Bryant said she designed the pair of shoes in black and white as a tribute to daughter Gianna's basketball uniform.

By Emily Rella

entrepreneur daily

Axelle/Bauer-Griffin | Getty Images

Vanessa Bryant took to Instagram on Thursday to take on Nike for reportedly releasing images of a sneaker made in honor of her late daughter Gianna earlier than they were set to be released.

"The Mambacita shoes are NOT approved for sale," Bryant wrote in her post.

The wife of former NBA legend Kobe Bryant said she designed the pair of shoes in black and white as a tribute to Gianna's basketball uniform.

Other details on the shoes also have sentimental meaning, like the number "2" to honor Gianna's basketball number and Kobe and Gianna's names etched on the sides of the shoe.

"I did not resign the Nike contract and decided not to sell these shoes," Bryant explained.

Another picture on her Instagram post shows what appears to be someone holding the shoe, which infuriated Bryant, who wrote that she and her other daughters have not yet received any pairs of the sneaker themselves.

"I do not know how someone else has their hands on shoes I designed in honor of my daughter, Gigi and we don't," Bryant wrote. "I hope these shoes did not get sold."

Though there is no record of the sneaker on Nike's website, it appears that Milwaukee Bucks star Khris Middleton wore the sneakers in Game 4 of the NBA playoffs against the Miami Heat.

Bryant wrote that the shoes were meant to benefit the Mamba & Mambacita Foundation, a nonprofit founded in honor of Kobe and Gianna that benefits young female athletes and other underserved athletes.

Nike has not yet responded to Vanessa Bryant's post.

Emily Rella

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior News Writer

Emily Rella is a Senior News Writer at Previously, she was an editor at Verizon Media. Her coverage spans features, business, lifestyle, tech, entertainment, and lifestyle. She is a 2015 graduate of Boston College and a Ridgefield, CT native. Find her on Twitter at @EmilyKRella.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Related Topics


Jon Taffer's 10% Rule Is the Productivity Hack That Could Change Your Life

The "Bar Rescue" superhost is back with a new season and a new crop of hospitality businesses in desperate need of tough love.

Business News

Another Taylor Swift-Related Job Opportunity Just Opened Up — Here's How to Qualify

As the superstar embarks on the next leg of The Eras Tour, a UK-based museum is hiring a Taylor Swift advisor.

Growing a Business

9 Hidden Reasons Your Customers Will Leave You

Understanding why customers are leaving your business takes attention, not assumptions. Read on for proven ways to catch issues early and keep more clients around for the long run.

Business News

Report: Airlines Made $33 Billion Last Year Charging For Checked Bags

A new study from IdeaWorks examined how much customers paid for baggage-related fees last year across 20 airlines.