Kobe Bryant’s Nike merchandise sold out following Lakers star’s death

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Sports apparel and shoe manufacturer Nike has sold out of all Kobe Bryant-related items from its Nike.com webstore following the Los Angeles Lakers legend’s untimely death over the weekend, the company announced.

ESPN had reported earlier this week that Nike had taken down Bryant merchandise online to stop purchasers from reselling items at a profit. But the company has contradicted this report. Nike had, in fact, sold out of Bryant stock.

A search for Kobe Bryant-related items on Nike.com now shows a tribute message that extends sympathies to the Bryant family and their friends. “He was a beloved member of the Nike family. We will miss him greatly. Mamba forever,” it says, in part.

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Nike has also seen an increase of Bryant-related sales at its stores, according to USA Today, as fans look to pay tribute to the National Basketball Association superstar.

Bryant, 41, was among nine passengers, including his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on Sunday morning.

Nike, according to ESPN, is re-evaluating whether to a release new version of the Kobe 5 Protro sneaker in the coming weeks, as had been planned. Elsewhere, footwear reseller StockX plans to donate all proceeds from sales of Bryant merchandise this week to the Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation, says Forbes.

Tributes for Bryant continued with Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie changing his jersey from No. 8 to No. 26 to honour the former Laker superstar, who wore both the No. 8 and No. 24 jerseys over the course of his career. It was also announced that Orlando Magic guard Terrence Ross is changing his jersey number from No. 8 to No. 31.

Meanwhile, Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid switched to the No. 24 jersey for Tuesday evening’s game against the Golden State Warriors. As No. 24 is retired by the 76ers, Embiid called the franchise’s former star Bobby Jones to ask for permission to wear the number, which was granted.

In Italy, Serie A side AC Milan held a minute’s silence ahead of their Coppa Italia game against Torino at San Siro, with players also wearing black armbands.

The scheduled game between the Lakers and cross-town rivals Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center on Tuesday evening was postponed at the team’s request. The Lakers are next due to play on Friday.

Nike shares were up less than 1% on Tuesday afternoon. The stock has rallied a little more than 25% over the past 12 months. Nike has a market cap of about $156.4 billion

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