Bryant started his career wearing shoes by Adidas but was lured away by Nike in 2003 with a lucrative four-year, $40 million deal. That deal was extended multiple times, including after Kobe announced his retirement prior to the 2015-2016 season.
Kobe became only the second player (after Michael Jordan) to continue to receive updates to his signature shoe line after retirement. The Nike Kobe AD was the first post-retirement shoe for Bryant and a new shoe was planned for each season in perpetuity until his death in January 2020. The current plans for his shoe line remain unclear.
Despite his passing, Kobe’s shoes are still by far the most popular signature sneaker line in the NBA, worn by dozens of players across all positions and playing styles.