Nike Releases First New ‘Mamba’ Sneakers Since Kobe Bryant’s Death


The NBA is still feeling the aftershock of Kobe Bryant’s devastating death, a tragedy that shook the sports world to its core this past January. The incoming Hall of Famer will long be remembered for his on-court contributions, leading the Los Angeles Lakers to five NBA titles (one fewer than his idol, Bulls legend Michael Jordan). But he was also a sneaker pioneer, helping design some of the most iconic kicks of all-time.

Bryant’s shoe legacy lives on with the Mamba Furys, released by Nike earlier this month. The Kobe collection’s newest entry was introduced at a modest $99, though good luck finding them for that cheap. You’d have better odds of seeing a sasquatch riding a unicorn than locating a pair of retail-price Furys this late in the game. The shoes are conspicuously absent from Nike’s website and major retailers don’t appear to be carrying them right now, though you can snag a pair from resale app GOAT for a cool $150.

The lightweight Furys are similar in design to the Mamba Focus, which debuted in 2019, but with a few new wrinkles including a revamped “upper” complete with sleek snakeskin patterning. It’s not the most technologically advanced shoe the Kobe line has produced, but as its limited availability would suggest, it’s obviously been plenty popular.

Sales for Kobe kicks have predictably gone through the roof since the superstar’s tragic death, selling for exorbitant prices on resale markets. According to Forbes contributor Pat Benson, the popular “Chaos” colorway for the Kobe 5 Protros has seen an incredible 108-percent markup in the past four months, selling for $317 a pop on StockX.

Nike pumped the brakes on releasing new Kobe products in the immediate aftermath of his passing, scrapping plans to unveil fresh models in February and March. Even with Nike rolling out the Furys for public consumption this month, it’s anyone’s guess when the brand will return in full force. But if his booming resale market is any indication, demand for Kobe gear has never been higher.

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