‘Fell in Love’: DeMar DeRozan Explains How Kobe Bryant Is His Generation’s Michael Jordan

Published 11/10/2021, 10:16 PM EST
BEVERLY HILLS, CA – FEBRUARY 05: Kobe Bryant attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards Nominee Luncheon at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on February 5, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)


Kobe Bryant is one of the biggest names in basketball history. Young stars still take inspiration from the ‘Mamba’ for his work ethic and the legacy he has left behind. Moreover, Kobe’s signature line with Nike is another thing that caters these youngsters with inspiration. After his passing, players took to wearing his sneakers to mark their honor for him.

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Earlier this year, Vanessa Bryant ended their partnership with Nike. However, before that, during the Orlando bubble season, most of the players sported Kobe’s. Over a third of the players in the NBA suited up with the late legend’s signature shoe. Now with the partnership over, players are struggling to get their hands on those Kobe’s.

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Recently, the Chicago Bulls’ forward, DeMar DeRozan spoke about Kobe and how players viewed him with respect.

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DeRozan says Kobe Bryant is like Michael Jordan for this generation

While speaking about the Kobe’s, DeMar had good things to say. Moreover, he also compared the ‘Mamba’ with Jordan saying, “This generation looks at Kobe like our Jordan.”. Being a player to wear Kobe’s himself, the contract expiration must have hit DeRozan hard. However, he loves the shoe regardless saying. “t’s a great shoe to wear. Guys really fell in love with it.”

After leaving Adidas, Kobe became a sneaker free agent. Spending a couple of seasons wearing multiple Nike sneakers, he finally released his signature line. His first shoe was the Nike Zoom Kobe I, and since then, the brand only grew. While this was a traditional sneaker, Kobe later introduced the low top performance sneakers which many players wear even today.

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Thus, due to its growing popularity, the Kobe brand, one of Nike’s most successful merchandise, never failed to impress. After his retirement, Bryant extended his deal for another five years, hoping to keep growing. However, after his unfortunate passing, Vanessa decided to call off the deal with Nike. This comes on back of multiple reasons.

EL SEGUNDO, CALIF. – APRIL 30, 2013. Kobe Bryant talks with reporters after his exit interview with the Lakers on Tuesday, April 30, 2013, at the team’s training facility in El Segundo. (Photo by Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

The most notable reason was Nike didn’t offer Kobe a lifetime deal. Vanessa wanted to continue Bryant’s legacy with a lifelong deal with Nike. However, the brand wasn’t willing to offer any such promise. Moreover, the Bryant family didn’t like the way Nike dealt with the releases after Kobe’s passing. These reasons caused the break up between the two and Nike won’t produce anymore Kobe merchandise.

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Do you think Nike should have offered the life long deal after what Kobe Bryant did for the brand? Let us know in the comments below.

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Anuj Talwalkar

521 articles

Anuj Talwalkar is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He is a student studying at NM College in Mumbai, aspiring to pursue sports management to follow his love for sports. Anuj started following the NBA last year, and he loves to combine his passion for writing with his understanding of basketball.

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