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#pounditWednesday, June 7, 2023

Vanessa Bryant takes issue with tweet about DeMar DeRozan

Vanessa Bryant smiles

Mar 10, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Vanessa Bryant , wife of Los Angeles Lakers forward Kobe Bryant (not pictured), attends the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Vanessa Bryant had some issues with Nike after her late husband Kobe died in a tragic helicopter accident, but the two sides eventually worked out an agreement. With Nike still manufacturing Kobe sneakers, Vanessa wants to make sure it is clear that the Los Angeles Lakers legend remains the face of the apparel line.

Shams Charania of The Athletic reported earlier this week that DeMar DeRozan has signed a four-year contract extension with Nike. Charania said the new deal “keeps him as the featured face of Kobe Bryant’s iconic line.” Vanessa did not appreciate that description.

Vanessa said in an Instagram comment that “no one” besides Kobe is the face of the Kobe line.

DeRozan exclusively wears Kobe sneakers. He is one of the biggest stars in the NBA who does. He also considered Bryant a mentor. Charania obviously meant that DeRozan is helping to carry on Kobe’s legacy by continuing to wear the Nike Kobe shoes.

In a separate comment, Vanessa said she has nothing against DeRozan but felt Charania’s commentary was inappropriate.

“LOVE that he’s a Kobe supporter but the caption is false. It’s misinformation. Only Kobe is the face of his line. If that changes in the future, then I’m sure Nike and I will release a statement announcing it,” Bryant wrote, as captured by Sideaction.

The partnership between Nike and Bryant’s estate is obviously a sensitive subject for Vanessa. She seemed to think Charania was alluding to that, but he probably was not. You can understand why Vanessa took it that way after the well-publicized problems she had with Nike.


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