Kobe Bryant’s rookie season jersey will be auctioned off and could fetch $5 million
A basketball jersey that would have belonged to Kobe Bryant during his rookie season in the late 90s is auctioned off.
SCP Auctions, a California-based sports memorabilia auction and consignment company, is welcoming bids for Bryant’s inaugural jersey from May 18 through June 4, the Associated Press reported.
Auction house president David Kohler told the AP he believes the jersey could fetch between $3 million and $5 million.
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The yellow and purple jersey is from Bryant’s rookie season of 1996-97.
He reportedly wore it in a few notable wins, including games against the Utah Jazz and the Sacramento Kings.
Authenticators examined the jersey and photo-matched it to a 1997 trading card that features Bryant wearing the top, Kohler told the AP.
The jersey’s current owner has chosen to remain anonymous – and is believed to have chosen to sell the piece of sports memorabilia after watching another Bryant rookie jersey 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 auction, FOX Business reported in May 2021.
“Kobe Bryant’s legacy will live forever in the hearts of fans and in the Hall of Fame,” Ken Goldin, the founder of Goldin Auctions, said 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 following 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 lives of Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven more, including charter pilot Ara Zobayan, 50; Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, 56; Keri, Altobelli’s wife, 46; Altobelli’s daughter, Alyssa, 14; women’s basketball coach Christina Mauser, 38; mum Sarah Chester, 45; and Payton, Chester’s daughter, 13.
Fans mourned the loss of Bryant for weeks. His public memorial service was held at the Staples Center on February 24, 2020.
Countless tributes were left at the arena honoring Bryant and his surviving family, including his wife Vanessa and daughters Natalia, Bianka and Capri.
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Affluent fans have turned to buying items believed to have belonged to the late NBA legend.
Sotheby’s sold a pair of Nike Air Zoom Huarache 2K4 sneakers worn by Bryant in 2004 for around $32,822.50 at an auction in Switzerland in November.
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Most recently, Goldin Auctions sold a Bryant rookie trading card in February for nearly $1.8 million – a record in trading card auctions.