Nike Sells out of All Kobe Bryant Items Following His Death

Following Kobe Bryant's death in a tragic helicopter crash, NBA fans around the world have been on a mission to show their support and love by donning his merchandise and signature shoes. This became more difficult in the early week after Nike sold out of all Kobe-related items from its Nike.com store. The company confirmed this news to ESPN on Tuesday.

Initially, the company had specified that it had taken down all existing items. Now it has been revealed that the store is simply sold out. The searches for Bryant-related products now result in one item: a Nike gift card bearing the Los Angeles Lakers' logo and team colors. ESPN reports that related searches take users to a Bryant remembrance page.

The online store may be facing a lack of availability in the wake of Bryant's death, but there is a possibility that fans could track down merchandise in other ways. A Nike spokesperson told ESPN that "there may be Kobe product existing at retail." This includes official Nike brick-and-mortar locations, as well as retail partners such as Foot Locker.

The relationship between Bryant and Nike has always been one of mutual love and respect. An example of this is the auditorium at the Los Angeles Nike offices, which is simply dubbed "Kobe." Additionally, the former Lakers star once referenced his partnership with Nike as being akin to something magical.

"I'm telling you, it was like when Harry Potter landed in Hogwarts," Bryant said about Nike, per ESPN. "He was home. I'm always around a bunch of people who are competitive and just as competitive as I am or just as passionate about the sport as I am."

Following his death, there was a mass gathering at the Nike headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon. Thousands were on hand and wearing Bryant's signature shoes while gathering near a "35-foot poster of Bryant that overlooks the south bank of the campus' Lake Nike." They brought flowers and memorabilia and left them in honor of the NBA icon.

Nike's online store may be out of Bryant-related merchandise, but the company has revealed that it is re-evaluating the strategy for releasing Bryant's signature shoes. These sneakers are viewed as being among the best available and more than 100 players have worn them in the NBA this season alone. This is more than a quarter of the players in the league.

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