Detroit Pistons rookie Jaden Ivey made his Summer League debut. Ivey scored 20 points, delivered 6 assists and grabbed 6 rebounds. Best of all, the 20-year-old did it in style. Ivey wore the Nike Kobe 6 Protro ‘Mambacita Sweet 16’ colorway.
As you can see from the images, the black/white colorway pays homage to Kobe and Gianna Bryant. However, this specific shoe was once at the center of the falling out between Nike and the Bryant estate.
Following the horrific events of January 26, 2020, Nike moved forward with the release of the performance retro version (Protro for short) of the Nike Kobe 6. It was the last model to be released before Nike’s contract with the estate expired. from Bryant.
Unfortunately, the insult was added to the hurt when the “Mambacita” colorway started going on sale on sneaker websites after the contract ended. Vanessa Bryant immediately called out Nike on Instagram, “Nike didn’t send any of these pairs to me and my daughters. I don’t know how anyone else got their hands on these shoes that I designed in the honor of my daughter, Gigi, and we don’t. Hope these shoes don’t sell out.
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The damage seemed at first irreparable. Luckily for the fans, the two parties agreed to a new contract in March 2022. The ‘Mambacita’ colorway was renamed ‘Mambacita Sweet 16’ and solid in limited quantities on April 29, 2022. It’s no surprise that the rare shoes sold out immediately, and now reselling for over $1,000 online.
According to the company, the colorway pays homage to Gigi Bryant. The colorway symbolizes Gigi Bryant’s impact on basketball and her goal to build a better, more inclusive future for the game. Proceeds from the shoe will benefit the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation.
It’s not easy to get sneakerheads to agree on anything. But everyone is happy that Nike and the Bryant estate are partners again. Kobe and Gianna’s impact on the world is too big to quantify. But sometimes a simple gesture like wearing basketball shoes can help fans express their emotions. Stay locked in FanNation Kicks for the latest news, updates, and interviews.
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