Kobe Bryant set another record over the weekend, posthumously.
A jersey worn by the Los Angeles Lakers legend during his rookie season became the most expensive basketball jersey – and Bryant item – ever sold.
The item, sold on Sunday through Goldin Auctions, was bought for $3,690,000.
"Kobe Bryant's legacy will live forever in fans' hearts and in the Hall of Fame and it was truly an incredible honor to handle the sale of his earliest known rookie jersey," said Ken Goldin, the founder of Goldin Auctions. "The fact that new auction records were set by items from Kobe and his mentor and dear friend, Michael Jordan, speaks to how intertwined and important these two legends are."
Billionaire Bob Duggan was the person who won the bidding war. There were 50 bids for the Bryant jersey. The CEO of Summit Therapeutics came away with the item.
"We are honored to be Kobe Bryant's ‘teammates’ in contributing to the following all-time record price of the 1996-97 Kobe Bryant Rookie Season Game Used and Signed Lakers Home Jersey," Duggan said. "Bidding alongside me was my son, Shaun Zanganeh and his mom and my partner, Maky Zanganeh. Each of us have long admired the genius of Kobe Bryant; feet on the ground, head in the sky, big dreams, determination to win, being the dynamic best he could be, durable, persistent, and with the intention to set an amazing example for his fellow human beings. Each of us treasure our spiritual connection and celebrate our small role in establishing this all-time high valuation record alongside Kobe."
The jersey came from Bryant’s rookie season in 1996-97 — his first with the Lakers. The jersey features the purple Lakers script across the chest and his original No. 8.
The item is also autographed by Bryant.
"Sports Investors Authentication has photo matched this jersey to not only that September 20th, 1996 photo shoot, but to the December 8th, 1996 game (17th career game and 6th home game) where Kobe had 11 points, 3 assists and 3 rebounds in the Lakers 110-86 win over Timberwolves, the January 3rd, 1997 game (25th career game, 8th home game) where he had 21 points, 5 rebounds and an assist in the 110-93 win over Sacramento," the description of the item read. "The next two games were the January 20th (32nd career game and 13th home game) and February 2nd games (37th career game, 15th home game), both Laker wins, where Kobe added 6 points and 13 points against the Dallas Mavericks and Washington Bullets respectively."
"Additionally, Resolution Photomatching has photo matched the jersey to the following games: September 20th, 1996 (photo shoot), December 8th, 1996, January 3rd, 1997, January 20th, 1997, February 2nd, 1997, March 7th, 1997, March 12th, 1997, April 6th, 1997, plus 4 additional undated images (1 card- Upper Deck R10, 1 in-game captioned 1997, 2 from same undated 1997 photo shoot). Resolution also has likely matches to the Marach 9th and April 2nd games."