Kobe Bryant’s Merch Helped Remake His Image. After His Death, Collectors Are Cashing In.

People started making money off Kobe Bryant hours after he died in a helicopter crash. On the afternoon of January 26, the basketball legend was killed, along with his daughter Gianna and seven others, in a helicopter crash. When TMZ broke the news of Bryant’s death, friends and fans mourned the NBA legend. Almost immediately, the market for Kobe Bryant merchandise, from classic sneakers to homemade tees, skyrocketed. On January 26 at 4:09 pm EST, a size 9 Kobe 4 Protro Undefeated in the Los Angeles Lakers colorway sold for $945 on StockX; these sneakers sold for $190 retail. On January 28, I was covering a Donald Trump rally in Wildwood, New Jersey. Alongside shirts where Baby Yoda wears a MAGA hat, vendors were selling bootleg “Mamba Out” (referencing Bryant’s nickname) and other Kobe memorial shirts. Read more at Vox.