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Kobe 6 Protro 'Mambacita Sweet 16' Honoring Gigi Bryant to Be Released May 1 by Nike

Adam WellsApril 29, 2022

Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images

Nike is releasing a new sneaker honoring Gigi Bryant, Kobe Bryant's daughter, on what would be her 16th birthday. 

The Kobe 6 Protro "Mambacita Sweet 16" will be released on May 1, with profits benefiting the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation. 

Nike Basketball @nikebasketball

As young hoopers step into parks, driveways, gyms and arenas around the world, Gigi’s spirit will continue to inspire them. With passion, with love, with heart. 🖤 💜 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PlayGigisWay?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#PlayGigisWay</a> 🧵2/2 <a href="https://t.co/dH4GN8p5TJ">pic.twitter.com/dH4GN8p5TJ</a>

Gigi and Kobe Bryant were among nine people killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on Jan. 26, 2020. 

In April 2021, Vanessa Bryant, Kobe's widow and Gigi's mother, told ESPN's Nick DePaula that she and Kobe's estate elected not to renew their partnership with Nike when it expired. 

"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 said. "It seems fitting that more NBA players wear my husband's product than any other signature shoe."

DePaula noted that Vanessa and Kobe's estate "had grown frustrated" with Nike over its limiting the availability of Kobe merchandise during his retirement and after his death, as well as the lack of Kobe footwear available in kids' sizes. 

The report also notes Nike presented a contract extension offer that "was not in line with expectations of an ongoing 'lifetime' structure similar to the Nike Inc. contracts held by both Michael Jordan and LeBron James."

Vanessa then announced last month that the estate agreed to terms on a new deal with Nike. She also said that the agreement calls for the company to donate 100 percent of the net proceeds to the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation. 

According to DePaula, approximately 20 percent of NBA players have worn a Kobe sneaker by Nike for at least one game since his death.

Vanessa is also working with Nike to establish a new youth basketball center in Southern California "that will share the Mamba Mentality with youth athletes for generations to come."

Kobe Bryant originally signed with Nike in 2003 after being with Adidas for six years.    

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