Nike Shares Tribute Video To Kobe Bryant As Thousands Gather For Memorial

Los Angeles Lakers Honors Kobe Bryant

As thousands of fans gathered at the Staples Center in Los Angeles for a public memorial for Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, Nike released a tribute video honoring the late basketball star.

The two-minute video is captioned "Mamba Forever," and features audio clips detailing his rise from a Philly kid playing at Lower Merion High School to one of the greatest players in NBA history.

Kobe was drafted out of high school in 1996 and signed his first deal with Nike in 2003. Prior to that, he had a deal with Adidas but his shoes were considered duds. Despite some setbacks, Bryant worked with Nike to design a new line of shoes, and they were a hit.

"NBA players and people on the street and college and rec ball league and everybody alike — Kobe's shoes performed," Sean Williams, who works for the podcast and marketing company Obsessive Sneaker Disorder told Vox. "They did well on the court. They did exactly what they were supposed to do, and there was always a high expectation of performance for Kobe Bryant sneakers, and he never let people down. Michael Jordan sneakers can't even say that."

After Bryant's tragic death, fans rushed to purchase his gear, and Nike sold out. The company planned to release a purple and yellow "Lakers" version of the Kobe 5 Protro shoes the week he died but decided to hold off until a later date.

Photo: Getty Images

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