Kobe Bryant's rookie season jersey to be auctioned, could fetch $5M
Kobe Bryant wore his rookie Los Angles Lakers jersey from 1996-1997
A basketball jersey that reportedly belonged to Kobe Bryant during his rookie season in the late ‘90s is going up for auction.
SCP Auctions, a sports memorabilia auction and consignment company based in California, is welcoming bids for Bryant’s inaugural jersey from May 18 to June 4, the Associated Press reported.
The auction house's president, David Kohler, told the AP that he thinks the jersey could be sold from anywhere between $3 million and $5 million.
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The yellow-and-purple jersey is from Bryant’s rookie season from 1996-to-1997.
He reportedly wore it during a few notable wins, including games against the Utah Jazz and the Sacramento Kings.
Authenticators have examined the jersey and photo-matched it to a 1997 trading card that features Bryant wearing the top, Kohler told the AP.
The current owner of the jersey has chosen to remain anonymous — and has reportedly chosen to sell the piece of sports memorabilia after seeing another rookie jersey of Bryant’s sell for a record $3.69 million last year.
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Billionaire pharmaceutical CEO Bob Duggan won the bidding war for the autographed jersey from a Goldin Auctions sale, FOX Business reported in May 2021.
"Kobe Bryant's legacy will live forever in fans' hearts and in the Hall of Fame," said Ken Goldin, the founder of Goldin Auctions, at the time.
Bryant played for the Los Angeles Lakers from November 1996 to April 2016.
Three years and nine months after his retirement, he died from a fatal helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. Bryant was 41 at the time of his death.
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The crash also claimed the life of Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others, including charter pilot Ara Zobayan, 50; Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, 56; Altobelli's wife Keri, 46; Altobelli's daughter Alyssa, 14; girls’ basketball coach Christina Mauser, 38; mom Sarah Chester, 45; and Chester’s daughter Payton, 13.
Fans mourned the loss of Bryant for weeks. His public memorial service took place at the Staples Center on Feb. 24, 2020.
Countless tributes were left at the arena in honor of Bryant and his surviving family, including his wife Vanessa and his daughters Natalia, Bianka and Capri.
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Affluent fans have turned to purchasing items that reportedly belonged to the late NBA legend.
Sotheby’s sold a pair of Bryant’s game-worn Nike Air Zoom Huarache 2K4 sneakers from 2004 for about $32,822.50 at a Swiss auction in November.
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More recently, Goldin Auctions sold a rookie trading card of Bryant's in February for nearly $1.8 million — a record in trading card auctions.