PHOTO BY OLIVIER COLLET
PHOTO BY OLIVIER COLLET
Kobe Bryant is one of the most accomplished and polarizing athletes of all time. After being drafted directly out of high school 13th overall by the Charlotte Hornets, and then immediately traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe Bryant would achieve greatness in the form of 5 NBA Championships, two NBA Finals MVPs, 1 NBA MVP award, and 18 All-Star appearances.
Kobe’s legacy continues to be prolific posthumously as demand for his memorabilia soars. Since Kobe’s tragic death in January of 2020, collectors and investors alike have been scrambling to own a piece of “The Black Mamba’s” legacy any way they can. eBay recently reported that 250k Kobe Bryant cards have sold this year on their platform, and Kobe’s game-used jersey sale recently set an all-time record.
Below are eight of Kobe’s most iconic (and priciest) pieces of memorabilia to sell this year...
1. 1996-97 Kobe Bryant Rookie Season Game Used Signed Home Lakers Jersey
Sold in May 2021 for $3.6M at Goldin Auctions
A Kobe jersey from his rookie season sold for $3.6M in May 2021 -- setting an all-time high for a game-used basketball jersey. The previous record was set when a Michael Jordan UNC jersey sold at Heritage Auctions for $1.4M the same month. The jersey is Bryant’s earliest-known, game-worn Lakers jersey, photo-matched to the one he wore in four games during the 1996-97 season, plus his rookie photoshoot. The frontside number 8 features Kobe’s signature. Kobe wore number 8 for the first half of his career, before switching to number 24 in the 2006-07 season. Both numbers have been retired by the Lakers, making Kobe the only player in NBA history to have two jersey numbers retired with the same team.
2. 2016 Kobe Bryant Number “8” Staples Center Hardwood From Farewell Game
Sold in October 2020 for $631k at Heritage Auctions
A signed piece of hardwood court from Kobe’s final game sold for $631k at Heritage Auctions. On April 13th, 2016, Kobe Bryant was set to play his final game at the Staples Center against the Utah Jazz. Though the Lakers had had a disappointing year, Kobe delivered a thrilling final game—taking 50 shots and scoring 60 points to rally the team to a 101-96 win from behind. This floor captures those chilling final moments of an iconic career.
3. Kobe Bryant Personal 1963 Chevy Impala Gifted to Him by Wife Vanessa
Sold in January 2021 for $216k at Goldin Auctions
This car was a 2006 Christmas gift to Kobe from his wife, Vanessa. It was custom built by the West Coast Customs of Corona, the famous shop that inspired MTV’s Pimp My Ride. The shop took apart a 1963 Impala and repainted it in a custom blended mix of purple and royal blue. The interior was re-done with white leather upholstery and studded with Swarovski crystals, offset by royal blue piping and carpets.
4. 2000 Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakes NBA Championship Ring 14k-40 Diamonds
Sold in July 2021 for $201k at Goldin Auction
The 2000 NBA Championship ring that Kobe gifted to his mother Pam sold for $201k at Heritage auctions. This ring represents the first championship he won, just three years out of high school. Shaquille O’Neal had fouled out in overtime, and Kobe jumped in with confidence, reportedly saying: “Don’t worry. I got it. A similar 2000 NBA Championship ring gifted to his father, Joe Bryant, sold for $173k at Goldin Auctions in July 2021.
5. 2001 Kobe Bryant NBA Finals Photo Matched Game Used Sneakers - Finals Winning Game 5 6/15/2001
Sold in June 2020 for $70k at Goldin Auction
The shoes signed by Kobe were worn in the game where he clinched his second career championship, leading the game with Shaquille O’Neal. Of note: Kobe had a long association with Nike prior to his death, but these shoes uniquely capture a time when he worked with Adidas.
6. 2012 Kobe Bryant Team USA Gold Medalist Ring
Sold in June 2020 for $70k at Goldin Auctions
Kobe Bryant won two gold medals playing for team USA. This ring was awarded after the 2012 Gold Medal Championship. Only a single ring was produced for each member of the team, thus this piece was one of a kind. Kobe said before debuting at the Olympic games that he valued a gold medal above an NBA championship, noting that “It's a different feeling playing for your country.”
7. Kobe Bryant’s Game Used Lower Merion High School Road Maroon Uniform
Sold in July 2020 for $50.1k at Goldin Auctions
This away uniform is believed to be the only one in existence. Prior to its auction, there was never an authenticated game-worn high school jersey for Kobe. The uniform captures Kobe’s formative years in high school, where he turned around Lower Merion High School’s terrible team with not only his talent, but his precocious leadership skills. Kobe went on to skip over college basketball entirely and went to play for the NBA straight out of Lower Merion.
8. 2016 Kobe Bryant SIgned Final Career Game Full Ticket
Sold in March 2021 for $40.6k at Goldin Auctions
The ticket sold for $40.6k from Kobe’s final game has been signed and certified by PSA. Only 25 tickets that are signed with PSA DNA grade are known to exist. Finding graded game tickets from such a notable and historic game is a difficult feat, especially with a signature from the athlete.
Shares in one of these 25 tickets are available for purchase on Otis.
In short, Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest of all-time – with a legacy that lives on posthumously in the hearts and minds of fans, as well as through the artifacts that commemorate his amazing career. Investors can own a piece of those artifacts, whether through a Kobe Bryan Rookie Card, a pair of Kobe Bryant Air Jordans or through a game-used ticket, all on Otis.
New drops open every week for as little as $1/share. Subscribe to stay updated.