DeMar DeRozan was reportedly selected as the next face of the Kobe Bryant line, but it seems Shams Charania got bad intel. If anyone has a style that reminds us of Kobe, it's DeMar, but Vanessa Bryant made it clear no one can fill Kobe's shoes.
He does not represent the Kobe Brand
Shams Charania’s tweet that DeMar DeRozan would become the next face of the Kobe Bryant line sent the basketball universe in disarray with both positive and negative reactions. One opposing figure is Kobe’s wife, Vanessa Bryant, who quickly shot down the report.
As the representative of Kobe’s estate, Vanessa is the only credible person responsible for releasing official statements. As the second death anniversary of The Black Mamba draws close, this topic is expected to become more sensitive and emotional. Nike and Vanessa recently agreed on terms on moving forward with Kobe Bryant’s signature shoe line, and releasing a statement without the blessings of Kobe’s estate is a move in the wrong direction.
Shams had certainly vetted his sources, but it’s proof that even the best of them could fall to fake or unverified information. DeRozan grew up idolizing Kobe Bryant and even copied his moves on the court. He’s also been rocking the shoes of the Lakers star for several years now. If the reports were true, DeMar would have been a logical choice, but as Vanessa refuted it, time will only tell if anyone becomes the face of Kobe’s shoes or merch in the future.
Is there a need to have a new face?
The question begs to be answered: is there a need for an heir apparent or a new face for the Kobe Bryant line? It’s disrespectful to both his family and DeRozan. The Chicago Bulls forward could still launch his own and doesn’t need Kobe Bryant or his popularity to do so. The same can be said of Bryant. Even if he’s no longer with us, the decision should only be made with the help of his family. If DeRozan becomes the next face of the Kobe Bryant line, it wouldn’t be Kobe’s anymore.
Yes, Kobe’s brand could grow into a multi-million or even a billion-dollar-worth empire. We were robbed of the chance to see him expand and grow his brand like Michael Jordan. If and when Vanessa and Nike make an announcement, is there an NBA star still free to take on the Kobe Bryant line? Ja Morant, Zion Williamson, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Luka Doncic are all with Nike or Jordan brand.
Right now, there is no heir to the Kobe Bryant line. It remains his brand even after he passed away. So let’s wait and see for announcements in the future. But remember, if it didn’t come from Vanessa Bryant, take it with a grain of salt.