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Bryant still on marketing bench

Updated: December 14, 2004, 9:29 PM ET
By Darren Rovell | ESPN.com

Kobe Bryant will be put on Nike's backburner for another basketball season.

Though still on the hook for a five-year, $40 million endorsement deal with Bryant, Nike has no plans to aggressively market the embattled Lakers guard, despite plans for Bryant to debut a new shoe on Christmas, according to multiple industry sources contacted by ESPN.com.

Bryant will sport Nike's Air Zoom Huarache 2K5 shoe, in purple and gold, during the Lakers' Dec. 25 showdown against the Miami Heat. The ...

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