Game-Worn Kobe Bryant Rookie Jersey Expected to Fetch $5 Million at Auction

An auction house is predicting that one of Kobe Bryant’s rookie basketball jerseys may fetch up to a record $5 million.

According to the Associated Press, the NBA legend’s game-worn jersey worn in his first season (1996-97), including two playoff games, will be auctioned off later this month. It may set the owner back between $3 million and $5 million.

The online auction, announced by David Kohler of SCP Auctions begins May 18.

“We feel this could bring a record for any basketball jersey,” he said. Kohler said the anonymous seller has owned the jersey for 25 years.

The person who currently owns the jersey approached Kohler after seeing one of Bryant’s rookie jerseys sell for $3.69 million last year at an auction, the highest price ever for a basketball jersey.

The upcoming auction features 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.

Last March, according to ESPN, a rookie basketball card featuring Bryant was auctioned off for $1.795 million.

According to Goldin Auctions, an online auction house and repository for sports memorabilia, it is one of the most expensive basketball cards ever sold.

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.