In a recent study, it was found that the top three reasons people use humor are to make others laugh, to relieve tension, and to avoid conflict. The first two reasons have been well-documented by psychologists and social scientists alike, but what about the third?
The i’m serious meaning is a phrase that means, I am being truthful because I am not doing it.
Kobe Bryant, like his master Michael Jordan, did not like being overlooked. He took advantage of whatever additional incentive he could find to help the Los Angeles Lakers win.
Some feuds, though, extended beyond the basketball floor.
Bryant seemed to want nothing to do with Adidas after his well-documented split with the sports clothing business; he basically joined with Nike and never looked back. However, he once informed a reporter (half-jokingly but seriously) that he wouldn’t conduct an interview with them unless they changed their clothing.
They were both dressed in Adidas.
Kobe Bryant ditched Adidas in favor of Nike.
According to The Undefeated, Kobe Bryant signed with Adidas in 1996 and got his first signature shoe, the Adidas KB8, in his second year after repping the brand during his rookie season. The Kobe, the first shoe in his trademark brand, didn’t appear until the NBA playoffs in 2000.
However, something must have occurred between Bryant and Adidas in the years after, since The Undefeated claimed that he “paid $8 million to break out of his deal,” resulting in him spending the 2002-03 season as a shoe free agency.
Bryant experimented with a variety of shoes that year, including Nike, Reebok, AND1, and Converse. However, in June 2003, the future Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer signed a four-year, $40 million deal with Nike, with which he remained affiliated until his death in 2020.
Despite spending his first six years with Adidas, Bryant must have had a falling out with the sportswear giant at some point, and it seems that this is what led to his famous encounter with a reporter.
A reporter was informed by Kobe that he needed to change his clothing.
On November 1, 2016, Kobe Bryant attended an event. | Getty Images/Allen Berezovsky
Marc J. Spears is a writer for ESPN’s The Undefeated, and he has recounted the tale of Kobe Bryant refusing to interview him because he was wearing Adidas many times over the years.
In 2020, Spears wrote in The Undefeated, “With his Nike right-hand man Nico Harrison at his side, he jokingly refused to conducting an interview with me after a Lakers practice unless I changed my outfit that day: an Adidas sweatsuit and sneakers.” “Keep in mind that at the time, Kobe was a Nike ambassador who had a rocky relationship with Adidas.”
“That was half-joking, half-serious was like, ‘Nah dog, I’m serious because I’m not doing it,” Spears said on an NBC Sports podcast in 2021. ‘You can’t treat me like this.’
Is it true that Bryant never conducted the interview?
“He did the interview after some good-natured teasing,” Spears wrote.
We may never know what exactly occurred between Bryant and Adidas, or why he decided to quit. However, it’s possible that additional information may become available in the future.
Since then, Kobe Bryant’s estate has severed ties with Nike.
Kobe Bryant went on to enjoy a nearly two-decade long connection with Nike. According to his wife Vanessa Bryant, the two sides “created some of the most gorgeous basketball sneakers of all time” in a statement to ESPN.
However, his contract with the business expired in April 2021, and the company was unable to strike an arrangement with his heirs.
The estate was allegedly upset by the restricted availability of Kobe’s goods after he retired and after his death, according to ESPN. It was also irritated by the lack of availability in children’s sizes.
According to ESPN, Nike allegedly extended the estate’s deal, but it “was not in line with expectations of a continuing ‘lifetime’ arrangement comparable to the Nike Inc. contracts held by both Michael Jordan and LeBron James.”
Vanessa told ESPN, “My goal will always be to enable Kobe’s followers to purchase and wear his goods.” “I’ll keep fighting for it.” Kobe’s merchandise sells out in a matter of seconds. “That tells it all.”
It’s unknown if Bryant’s estate will attempt to re-negotiate with Nike, but for the time being, he’s a free agent in the shoe industry, just as he was in 2002-03.
Overall, regardless of whatever sports clothing business Bryant’s name is associated with, his legacy lives on via tales like the one involving Spears. Whatever sneakers he wore, his attitude and achievements on the court made him an NBA hero and idol.
RELATED: Kobe Bryant Immediately Asked a New Teammate if He Was Ready to ‘Black Out’ When He Joined the Lakers: ‘You See Spots,’ says the narrator.
The t.i. i’m serious lyrics is a song by the rapper T.I., which was released in 2004 as the second single from his album King Uncaged.
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