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Nike says Kobe Bryant merchandise sold out on website

(Reuters) - Nike Inc NKE.N said on Tuesday merchandise associated with Kobe Bryant, the NBA star who died in a helicopter crash on Sunday, was sold out on its website.

Feb 09, 2012; Boston, MA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant (24) on the court against the Boston Celtics at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

A search for Kobe-branded products on the footwear maker’s website direct customers to an obituary page for the player.

Bryant’s collaboration with Nike began nearly two decades ago and included several hit products with the “Kobe” tag such as AD, Zoom and NXT athletic shoes.

Interest in Kobe-branded products also surged on resale marketplace StockX’s website, including in some of his most noted sneaker collaborations.

Bryant over the years released hundreds of products in partnership with Nike, many of which were fast fan favourites that have even become the preferred game shoe for players across the league, StockX said in a statement.

According to ESPN, more than 100 NBA players have worn Bryant shoes this season.

Earlier on Tuesday, several media reports said Nike suspended the sale of Kobe Bryant merchandise on its online store.

Bryant rocketed to fame as an 18-year-old rookie and played 20 years for the Los Angeles Lakers, 18 as an all-star forward, and won five NBA championships.

He was one of the nine people killed on Sunday when the helicopter they were travelling in crashed in Calabasas, California. His 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, was among those who perished.

“He was a beloved member of the Nike family,” the sneaker maker said in a tribute to Bryant.

Reporting by Nivedita Balu and Praveen Paramasivam in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Sriraj Kalluvila