By: Adena Jones via Zora

Vanessa Bryant says the shoe was not authorized for sale, and yet it sold on the internets for almost $3,500. Here’s why.

Kobe and Gigi Bryant. Photo: Getty Images

Sneakers get leaked or released too early all the time; it’s part of sneaker culture and what makes the hunt for dope kicks so exciting. So hearing that a shoe not approved for retail got into the hands of a consumer is nothing new….. unless it’s a posthumous Kobe Bryant shoe marked not for sale by his estate.

Now that’s something spicy and different.

That’s why when Vanessa Bryant saw the Kobe 6 Protro Mamba Forever aka “Mambacita” in the hands of a consumer she voiced her displeasure on social media. Not just because the shoe released after his death, as there were shoes already scheduled to release posthumously, but because Kobe’s contract with Nike expired April 2021 and she claims this shoe was not included in his deal for sale.

Furthermore, the shoe was intimately designed by Vanessa and included tributes to both her husband and her daughter, Gigi who also died in the 2020 helicopter crash with her father Kobe. Details like the Number 2, Gigi’s jersey number, the black and white colorway for Gigi’s team colors and the inside of the shoe featuring wings, a halo and butterfly were all unique to this leaked version of the Kobe 6 Protro.

In an Instagram post, Vanessa Bryant says the Mambacita sneakers were not approved to be made and not approved for sale. She goes on to state that Nike has not sent any of the shoes to her or her daughters. So the question remains…. how the hell does something like this happen?

Screengrab via Instagram

When I saw this news I immediately thought of this Beyonce moment, “Somebody’s getting fired!” But as the day progressed I realized there was more nuance to it all.

Images of the Mambacita shoe were actually posted on Sneakers News and other sneaker sites less than a month ago with no comment from Bryant about it not being approved for sale or production.

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