Last month, according to the Associated Press, a rookie jersey worn by Los Angeles Laker legend Kobe Bryant in his first season (1996-97), including two playoff games, was expected to set the new owner back between $3 million and $5 million. SCP Auctions reported that it fell short of that expectation but did sell for $2.75 million.
SCP Auctions announced that the only Kobe Bryant jersey ever to be photo matched to his rookie season playoff run was auctioned off for $2.735 million. The amount paid for the jersey was the second-highest price for any basketball game-worn jersey ever. The jersey from the Lakers legend was photo matched by Meigray, Resolution and Sports Investors. It was worn by Bryant on the Lakers’ 1997 playoff run, as well as
multiple games at the end of his first NBA season.
SCP President David Kohler said in a written statement, “The overall auction brought extremely strong numbers and many record sales. The auction total went over $8 million, which is the second biggest auction in company history. This incredible sale happened amidst stock market volatility and war overseas, too.”
NBA.com reported that the buyer of the jersey did not want to be acknowledged and wished to remain anonymous as well as the seller. The person who placed the jersey up for auction had the jersey for 25 years.
Last year, one of Bryant’s rookie jerseys was bought for $3.69 million. The autographed, yellow game-worn basketball jersey fetched the highest price ever for a basketball jersey.
The winner took home the jersey Bryant wore for the Los Angeles Lakers in regular-season wins on April 13, 1997, against Utah and April 17, 1997, against Sacramento. He wore the same jersey at home games on May 8 and May 10 in the Western Conference semifinals against Utah.
Bryant played his whole 20-year NBA career with the Los Angeles Lakers. He was a five-time NBA champion, a two-time Finals MVP, and the league’s most valuable player in 2008.
During his career, Bryant made the All-Star team 18 times and was the youngest player to ever reach 30,000 career points. Bryant retired from the NBA in 2016.
The 41-year-old basketball legend died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, along with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven other people on Jan. 26, 2020.