By the end of his illustrious NBA career, Kobe Bryant and Nike were irrevocably linked.
Or so it seemed.
Nearly a year after the Los Angeles Lakers legend's untimely death, earth-shattering revelations suggest that Bryant was planning to part ways with his longtime sponsor in a move bound to disrupt the entire industry. Though he had a hugely successful signature shoe line with Nike, the five-time NBA champion had his sights set on creating "Mamba," a sneaker company with a revolutionary player-owned business model.
In a Twitter thread published early Tuesday morning, American venture capitalist Shervin Pishevar — a cofounder of Sherpa Capital and one of the masterminds behind Uber — revealed that he'd met with Bryant in December 2019 to discuss plans for the new company. Pishevar said in the thread that Kobe was not satisfied with the trajectory of his relationship with Nike and "what he was about to do in business was going to eclipse his sports career."