Vanessa Bryant announced the launch of a new Mambacita clothing line this weekend in honor of her and Kobe Bryant’s daughter, Gianna. The new line already has a high-profile backer in NBA Hall of Famer, and one of the Greatest NBA Players Of All Time, Allen Iverson.
The Philadelphia 76ers legend tweeted out a picture of himself rocking a Mambacita jumpsuit, accompanied by a #PlayGiGisWay hashtag.
— Allen Iverson (@alleniverson) May 3, 2021
The Bryant estate launched the line Saturday on what would have been Gigi’s 15th birthday. A member of the estate revealed the clothing line sold out by early afternoon.
Allen Iverson was among the masses who were gutted by news of the tragic deaths of Kobe and Gigi in a helicopter crash outside of Calabasas, California in January 2020. The former league MVP even penned a touching Players’ Tribune article to Kobe last summer in which he called Bryant a personal hero:
“My kids used to be hitting me talking about how they want the Kobe Adidases when they came out!!!!” Iverson wrote. “They were rocking number 8 and number 24, because you were one of their heroes. And if I’m being honest about it? You were a hero to me, too. Even though you were younger than me, I looked up to you because of how much you sacrificed, how much you gave to this game.”
Allen Iverson also applauded Bryant for instilling a certain mindset and work ethic within him as an undersized guard who some still argue is the best pound-for-pound player in the history of the NBA.
It is unlikely the impact Kobe and Gianna had will ever be forgotten, especially with the likes of Iverson carrying on their legacies.
Allen Ezail Iverson (/ˈaɪvərsən/; born June 7, 1975), nicknamed “the Answer” and “AI”, is an American former professional basketball player. He played 14 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA) at both the shooting guard and point guard positions. Iverson was an 11-time NBA All-Star, won the All-Star game MVP award in 2001 and 2005, and was the NBA’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) in 2001. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016.
Iverson attended Bethel High School in Hampton, Virginia, and was a dual-sport athlete. He earned the Associated Press High School Player of the Year award in both football and basketball, and won the Division 5 AAA Virginia state championship in both sports. After high school, Iverson played college basketball with the Georgetown Hoyas for two years, where he set the school record for career scoring average (22.9 points per game) and won Big East Defensive Player of the Year awards both years.
Following two successful years at Georgetown University, Iverson declared eligibility for the 1996 NBA draft, and was selected by the Philadelphia 76ers with the first overall pick. He was named the NBA Rookie of the Year in the 1996–97 season. A four time scoring champion, winning the NBA scoring title during the 1998–99, 2000–01, 2001–02, and 2004–05 seasons, Iverson was one of the most prolific scorers in NBA history, despite his relatively small stature (listed at 6 feet, 0 inches, or 183 centimeters). His regular season career scoring average of 26.7 points per game ranks seventh all-time, and his playoff career scoring average of 29.7 points per game is second only to Michael Jordan. Iverson was also the NBA Most Valuable Player of the 2000–01 season, and led his team to the 2001 NBA Finals the same season. Iverson represented the United States at the 2004 Summer Olympics, winning the bronze medal.
Later in his career, Iverson played for the Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, and the Memphis Grizzlies, before ending his NBA career with the 76ers during the 2009–10 season. He was rated the fifth-greatest NBA shooting guard of all time by ESPN in 2008. He finished his career in Turkey with Beşiktaş in 2011. He returned as a player-coach for 3’s Company in the inaugural season of the BIG3.
|Born||June 7, 1975
|Listed height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Listed weight||165 lb (75 kg)|
|High school||Bethel (Hampton, Virginia)|
|NBA draft||1996 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1st overall|
|Selected by the Philadelphia 76ers|
|Position||Shooting guard / Point guard|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Points||24,368 (26.7 ppg)|
|Rebounds||3,394 (3.7 rpg)|
|Assists||5,624 (6.2 apg)|
|Stats at NBA.com|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
|Basketball Hall of Fame as player|
Awards and honors
- Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
- Class of 2016 – Individual
- NBA Most Valuable Player (2001)
- 4× NBA scoring champion
- 11× NBA All-Star
- 2× NBA All-Star Game MVP
- 7× All-NBA
- 3× NBA steals leader
- NBA Rookie of the Year (1997)
- No. 3 retired by the Philadelphia 76ers
Vanessa Bryant, Kobe’s widow Launched The Mambacita clothing line
- Vanessa Bryant, widow of the late NBA star Kobe Bryant, announced Friday on Instagram the launch of the Mambacita clothing line May 1, with proceeds going to her foundation.
- Earlier this month, it was announced that Kobe Bryant’s estate and Nike had parted ways after a long relationship together.
- Mambacita was the nickname of Kobe and Vanessa’s daughter Gianna, who died along with Kobe in a Jan. 26, 2020, helicopter crash, and May 1 would have been Gianna’s 15th birthday.
Just weeks after announcing that Kobe Bryant’s estate has parted ways with Nike, the late NBA star’s widow, Vanessa Bryant, announced on Friday the introduction of her Mambacita clothing line.
Bryant said on her Instagram account that she will release the collection May 1, what would have been the 15th birthday of Gianna, or “Gigi,” Kobe and Vanessa’s daughter who died along with Kobe in a Jan. 26, 2020, helicopter crash.
Bryant said that 100% of the proceeds will go to the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation, the nonprofit started in the memory of Kobe and Gigi to benefit underserved youth in sports.
Gigi’s nickname was Mambacita.
It’s unclear whether this is the beginning of a bigger launch, but Bryant said that unisex and children’s sizes will be available. The website offering the collection was down Friday afternoon, saying “internal error.”
Since May 2020, the Kobe Bryant estate has filed more than a dozen trademark applications, according to Josh Gerben, a trademark attorney and founder of Gerben Intellectual Property. “Over the past year, Vanessa Bryant, via a corporate entity in Kobe’s name, has been making trademark filings which indicate a desire to build a brand around Kobe and Gianna’s legacy,” he said.
Gerben said three trademarks are used in the pictures she posted that include the word Mambacita, the M logo and the 2 hearts logo. “Based on trademark filing activity … I would also expect to see more products launched soon,” he said.
“Ultimately, creating a clothing and footwear brand without a large corporate partner will be challenging. It is certainly not outside the realm of possibility, but there are challenges on the business side that make a partnership with an established company still seem like a strong possibility,” Gerben said.
Vanessa Bryant and Nike were at odds, according to sources. She was unhappy with the lack of availability of his products, a strategy shoe companies often use to spur demand. On April 20, Bryant told fans that despite leaving Nike, her hope is that Kobe’s fans will be able to wear his products for years to come.
“I will continue to fight for that,” she said in the post. “Kobe’s products sell out in seconds. That says everything.”