It is the law of supply and demand which dictates the evolution of the prices of sneakers in general after the end of their marketing. And that’s what makes this environment so charming, or annoying, among the most seasoned collectors: you never know which pair will increase in value compared to another, nor when, nor why.
Unfortunately for Kobe Bryant, it is his tragic death in a helicopter crash that is at the origin of this renewed global interest in the Kobes. Especially since the divorce in the wake between Nike and the widow of the player accentuated the phenomenon, even if ESPN said the two sides are still in talks.
A renewed interest from current professional players
As might be expected, the prices of the signature models of the legend of the Lakers have skyrocketed, not only in the “classic” market but also in that of professional players, whose unusual sizes add to the rarity. pairs still available, which has also tended to add value to these.
“This generation considers Kobe as our Jordan”, recalls DeMar DeRozan, a native of LA and known in the league as the oldest fan of Kobe shoes. “It’s a great shoe to wear. The guys really fell in love with her. If you weren’t there for the last few years, you will have a hard time ”.
Already at the player’s retirement, the Kobe had taken on a new dimension. And the finding was relentlessly confirmed in the Orlando “bubble” in the summer of 2020, a few months after the death of Kobe Bryant, where nearly a third of the players wore Kobe. Last season, more than 110 players wore Kobes. It is the most worn signature model (source Baller Shoes DB)!
Another factor has come to give value to the Kobes: the slowdown in the production of shoes from China due to the Covid crisis and factory closures. So you have to do with what is left and it sometimes takes time (and a lot of money) for NBA players to manage to get their hands on the desired model in their sizes.
“I’m not going to go into a store and find a size 17 Kobe. No chance”, slipped Anthony Davis, passed to the Kobes following his arrival at the Lakers. “I insist, these are the favorite shoes of the players. A lot of people are inspired by him, and his shoe is amazing. They are all incredible ”.
DeMar DeRozan and Devin Booker solicited under the mantle
On the most famous resale platforms like StockX, GOAT and eBay, pairs in US sizes over 14 ‘are now fetching at least $ 800 for the most basic models, while some NBA players have told ESPN that they had to write five-figure checks to get the pair they wanted. the desired size for almost a year now.
Now is the time to race for players to stock up on these pairs that have deserted the traditional market. Jae Crowder thus confided to having succeeded in gathering a stock of Kobe to hold the next two years, that is to say a stock of 100 pairs! Anthony Davis says he “uses” 20 to 25 pairs of Kobe per season. And all means are good to achieve its ends.
“Some guys asked me for help”, said Devin Booker, teammate of Jae Crowder at the Suns, who has a stock of “PE” (for Player Exclusive) just like DeMar DeRozan, as “historical” ambassadors of the brand. “What is certain is that I will never be short of Kobe.”
All fans of Kobe Bryant’s signature shoes are now hanging on a possible agreement between Nike and Vanessa Bryant, the only way out to consider a “way out of the crisis”. Even if the two sides came to an agreement on a new series or the return to production of old models, it would take around 12 to 16 months to produce them and replenish the basketball planet’s stocks.
In the meantime, Devin Booker and DeMar DeRozan will have to manage their stocks sparingly.
“I used to play one or two matches with a pair and then give my shoes to the fans. I may not be able to do it as much », recognized the Bulls rear. “I’ve always had so many pairs, but I look at them differently now. The guys ask me for them but I can’t get them like I used to. If things go bad, I might even have to go to my secret vault ”.
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The most worn shoes in the NBA, the Kobes are very expensive or not found …