Interest into Kobe Bryant’s estate’s net worth has spiked after Vanessa Bryant announced the end of the late basketball player’s contract with Nike.

Vanessa Bryant revealed to ESPN that Kobe’s estate had decided not to renew the “post-retirement endorsement extension” he signed in 2016.

“Kobe’s Nike contract expired on 4/13/21,” she said. “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. It seems fitting that more NBA players wear my husband’s product than any other signature shoe.”

Before he tragically passed in early 2020, Kobe had been selling his Mamba merchandise with Nike for almost a decade previously.

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Why has Vanessa Bryant not renewed the Nike contract?

ESPN reports the sources have hinted to frustrations between the Kobe Bryant estate and Nike over limited availability of products as the deciding factor. Nike would often limit the availability of products when dropping new releases. While there was also reportedly frustrations over the lack of products in kids’ sizes.

Reports also indicate that the contract extension offered to the estate did not match the ongoing “lifetime structure” of the contracts of Michael Jordan and LeBron James.

“My hope will always be to allow Kobe’s fans to get and wear his products,” Vanessa told ESPN. “I will continue to fight for that. Kobe’s products  sell out in seconds. That says everything.”

“I was hoping to forge a lifelong partnership with Nike that reflects my husband’s legacy. We will always do everything we can to honour Kobe and Gigi’s legacies. That will never change.”

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Kobe Bryant’s estate’s net worth

At the time of his passing, Kobe Bryant’s net worth was a reported $600 million. For his whole NBA career, he is estimated to have earned over $328 million from just his salary.

A further $350million is said to be earned through endorsements including Nike, Sprite, McDonalds, Turkish Airlines, Lenovo, Hublot and Panini.

According to Forbes’ 2020 Dead Celebrity ranking, Kobe Bryant earned $20million after his death, most of which came from Nike products which rake in an estimated $250million annually.