Nearly 100 pieces of Kobe Bryant memorabilia are up for auction this month in what’s believed to be the largest group of his collectibles in one place.
A portion of the proceeds will be given to the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation. The collection includes game-worn sneakers, a championship ring and two rare items tied to Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James and New York Liberty rookie Sabrina Ionescu.
Bryant auction collection nears 100 pieces
The 86 pieces are part of Goldin Auction’s Spring 2020 Premium Auction that ends May 16. There are a number of game-worn jerseys as well as signed sneakers and basketballs, some dually signed with stars such as Stephen Curry and Shaquille O’Neal.
“There’s something for everyone,” Ken Goldin told ESPN. “We expect the price points in here to go from as low as $500 to potentially over $100,000.”
The 14K, 40-diamond ring from the 2000 NBA title team and the 2012 Team USA gold medalist ring featuring eight diamonds for the 8-0 record are in the auction. The black Adidas sneakers from the 2001 NBA Finals Game 5 victory have the largest bid of $28,000 as of Thursday night.
Of the more unique pieces are a leather Lakers handbag signed by the 2012-13 Lakers team and a White House stationary letter signed by Bryant.
Collection to benefit Mamba foundation
Memorabilia from Kobe Bryant’s playing days is part of a massive auction this month. (AP Photo/Darren Abate, File)
Goldin said 5 percent of each winning bid will go toward the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation, which provides opportunity to youth in sports. Bryant’s wife, Vanessa, announced the name change of his foundation in February to honor both he and their daughter, Gianna. They died along with seven others in a helicopter crash in January.
Goldin told ESPN they had been collecting items since December to hold an auction in conjunction with the legend’s inclusion in the Naismith Hall of Fame Class of 2020. He said it would be unfair to the consigners to not go forward with the auction and that Vanessa is not involved.
Ionescu’s jersey part of Bryant collection
Ionescu, the triple-double sensation who was chosen No. 1 in the WNBA draft last week, is involved in the collection with a signed No. 20 Oregon jersey. She wrote “To Kobe” on it and how it got there is heartbreaking.
“I believe what happened was it was given to a marketing rep for her to give to Kobe and then he passed,” Goldin told ESPN. “So that certainly would be unusual to find.”
Bryant became a mentor to Ionescu last year and she helped coach the Mamba Academy team that Gianna played on last summer. The only 2K-1K-1K player in NCAA Division I history wrote she would live out his legacy and spoke at his celebration of life on the request of Vanessa.
The set includes a photo of Ionescu, Kobe and Gianna. Bryant was vocal and led by example in his support of the women’s game.
James’ milestone nets in auction
The nets from the Lakers’ game against the Philadelphia 76ers in which James passed Bryant for third on the all-time NBA scoring list are part of the auction.
Bryant, who called James afterward to congratulate him, died the following day.
“If you want to think back to this day, it was the last happy day in basketball, really,” Goldin told ESPN. “It was used Jan. 25, 2020 … Kobe called [James] and sent that message congratulating him, and of course that was the last tweet he ever issued because the next day was the helicopter crash.”
Memorabilia signed by Michael Jordan, James, Luka Doncic and other NBA stars are also part of the large collection.
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