An auction house based in Los Angeles — where basketball legend Kobe Bryant played as a Laker for 20 seasons — is selling his game-worn jersey with a minimum bid of $20,000. The auction ends on Thursday and currently has no bidders.
The jersey comes with the “NBA Authentics” tag that distinguishes real game-worn products from replicas. Other Kobe Bryant-labeled items up for auction, in addition to the jersey, include signed basketballs, trading cards and other memorabilia.
The item, displayed prominently on the Nate D. Sanders Auction House’s homepage, was worn during the late NBA star’s time with the Los Angeles Lakers during the 1998–99 season — a breakout year for Bryant, who started every game during the season and signed a six-year contract extension worth a reported $70 million.
Some 10% of profits from the sale of the jersey and the other Kobe Bryant items in the auction will be donated to the After-School All-Stars, which partners with schools to expand the learning day for low-income children. Bryant had served as a national ambassador for the nonprofit starting in 2007.
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In the immediate wake of Bryant’s tragic passing, many resellers were against profiting from merchandise related to the athlete. For example, Jaysse Lopez, founder of consignment and resale company Urban Necessities, refused to allow consignors to raise prices on Bryant product, while Denver-based sneaker shop Vices pulled all Bryant-related items from its shelves. Billion-dollar marketplace StockX, on the other hand, pledged all proceeds from Bryant-affiliated sales would go toward the Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation.
However, other platforms have permitted the sale of Kobe Bryant-related merchandise on their websites. For instance, a Kobe Bryant swingman jersey, a fan-replica product that closely mimics a game-worn jersey, is currently selling for $499 on eBay.com.
Bryant, 41, died in a nine-fatality helicopter crash on Jan. 26. His 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, also died in the accident. Widely considered one of the greatest NBA players of all time, Bryant made 18 All-Star teams during his two decade-long career and won five NBA championships, two NBA Finals MVPs and the 2008 league MVP honor — all in a Los Angeles Lakers uniform.
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