Kobe Bryant tragically died at the age of 41 in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, along with his daughter Gianna and seven others on Jan. 26, 2020. He had been with Nike for nearly two decades, including the period after his retirement from professional basketball, with a line of signature sneakers. According to Shervin Pishevar, the Iranian-American angel investor and venture capitalist who co-founded Hyperloop One, Bryant was considering leaving Nike to launch a new sneaker brand. In a Twitter thread published on Dec. 29, Pishevar wrote that Bryant met with him in December 2019 to discuss terminating his relationship with Nike and start a “shoe company owned by players,” supposedly called Mamba. Pishevar claims that Bryant “wasn’t happy with Nike and was going to leave it in 2020.”