Kobe Bryant: Nike Preparing New Shoe Release Following Lakers Star's Memorial

Following Kobe Bryant's public memorial on Monday, Nike is reportedly preparing to release a new colorway of the Kobe 5 Protro, giving fans another way to remember the Los Angeles Lakers legend.

Footwear News reports that the release is planned for March and that the new color option includes a purple-based upper with black accents and gold detailing in a nod to the colors of the Lakers. Nike has not confirmed the release info but select retailers have the "Lakers" Zoom Kobe 5 Protro scheduled to release on March 26.

The sneakers are reportedly the same ones worn by current Laker Anthony Davis during the NBA All-Star Game earlier this month.

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@antdavis23’s Nike Kobe 5 Protro in the #NBAAllStar Game! #NBAKicks

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The original sneaker debuted in 2010 and is the same one Bryant wore when the Lakers won the NBA Championships against the Boston Celtics that year. Near the end of last year, Nike reintroduced the model as part of itsProtro program, which gives classic shoes modern upgrades while maintaining the shoe's original aesthetic.

After Bryant's death, his shoes immediately sold out before being marked up to incredibly high prices on resale sites in a similar fashion to other Bryant memorabilia. This week, eBay has had to remove listings from sellers attempting to make a profit on items given out at Bryant's memorial, as the company has a policy that prohibits sellers from profiting off of "human tragedy or suffering."

An email reportedly sent to one seller read, "Please note, due to sudden and tragic passing of Kobe Bryant - eBay has made the decision to prohibit the sale of merchandise, images and mugs relating to their passing. We do not allow listings that attempt to profit from human tragedy or suffering."

Bryant died on Jan. 26 in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California along with eight other people including his 13-year-old daughter Gianna. Kobe and Gianna were honored on Monday with a Celebration of Life at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, where Kobe played for the majority of his 20-season career with the Lakers.


The memorial included performances by Beyonce, Alicia Keys and Christina Aguilera as well as speeches by Michael Jordan, Shaquille O'Neal, Jimmy Kimmel, WNBA star Diana Taurasi, college basketball player Sabrina Ionescu, University of Connecticut women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma and Lakers' vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka. Bryant's wife, Vanessa Bryant, also delivered a eulogy for her husband and daughter.

Photo Credit: Getty / Stacy Revere