Kobe Bryant’s legacy will live on for a very long time in the NBA, partly because so many of today’s stars grew up idolizing the Lakers’ legend, and a large number of players wear his shoes every night during the season. 

Devin Booker, Anthony Davis, Zack LaVine, and numerous other players rock Kobe kicks. 

And the interesting thing about this story is how much money players are willing to spend to make sure they have Kobe shoes available for every game. 

There’s a shortage of Kobe’s Nike shoes because of the pandemic according to ESPN reporter Brian Windhorst. 

When the pandemic started it sped up a recent trend of some younger players not having their initial shoe deals they got when the entered the league renewed. So they had to scramble after Under Armour or Adidas stopped shipping them their free supply. 

Many of those young players switched to Kobe’s, but the pandemic struck again, making bigger sizes like 14 and above very rare. 

So, faced with a limited supply but loving the Kobe shoe and the performance it gives them, players started paying black market prices to make sure they could keep the shoes on their feet. 

What resulted is many NBA players paying $800 for basic Kobe model Nike basketball shoes, but since those aren’t the typical quality of shoe they wear, players were forced to pay much more, upwards of five figures per pair on the secondary market since last spring and summer according to ESPN’s Windhorst. 

Here’s what Lakers’ star Anthony Davis told Windhorst for the ESPN story. 

“I’m not going into a store and finding a [size] 17 in a Kobe. No way, I mean, it’s guys’ favorite shoes. … A lot of people are inspired by him and the shoe feels amazing. All of them feel amazing.”

It might make sense for Nike to start producing more since the demand is so high. 

One thing is for certain though – Kobe’s influence lives on in a major way throughout the NBA. 

(Photos below courtesy @brkicks Twitter page)

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