Los Angeles (CBSLA) — Vanessa Bryant seeks answers from Nike after the shoe she worked with the company to honor her late daughter Gianna Bryant, seems to be already on the hands of some buyers.
In a statement posted to Instagram, Bryant said he worked with Nike on a shoe that was to be called the “Mambassita,” an exclusive black-and-white based on Nike’s Kobe Bryant line of Black Mamba. There was colorway. The shoes have 2 gold, Kobe and Gigi on the back instead of Kobe’s signature, and interior details such as butterfly, wings and halo for the number worn on her jersey.
“MAMBACITA shoes are not approved for sale,” Bryant wrote.
Bryant says she wanted all proceeds from shoe sales to benefit Mamba and the Mambasita Sports Foundation, but when she decided not to re-sign with Nike, she decided to sell or even sell the shoes. That decided not to make the shoes, a decision she says her husband was considering before dying in a helicopter crash in January 2020 that also killed 13-year-old Gianna.
“Nike hasn’t sent any of these pairs to me and my girls. I don’t know how anyone else got their hands on shoes designed in honor of my daughter Gigi,” Bryant said.
In his Instagram stories, Bryant also posted a photo of Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton wearing Mambassita shoes during Game 4 of the Eastern Conference playoffs against the Miami Heat on Sunday.
The terms of Kobe Bryant’s deal with Nike are not public, and it is unclear whether the shoe giant plans to release any other designs more than a year after his death.