Earlier this year, Goldin Auctions sold a Honus Wagner T206 card for a public sale record of $2.1 million. Now the New Jersey auction house hopes for another big sale with the announcement of a June auction featuring more more than 100 items of unique memorabilia from the early basketball life of Kobe Bryant. The Kobe Bryant Collection includes trophies, championship rings, medals, plaques, uniforms and more. All items in the collection have been consigned to auction by the Bryant family. Ken Goldin, the founder of Goldin Auctions, had the inside track on getting this collection partly because he worked with Kobe and his family in 1996 on Kobe’s first autograph and trading card deal.
“It is gratifying to once again work with the Bryant family to bring this spectacular collection to auction,” said Goldin. “I had the pleasure of working with Kobe and his family in 1996 when he was making the leap from high school to the NBA and I signed him to his very first autograph and trading card deal. Over the past 17 years he has had reached spectacular heights and joined the conversation of the greatest players in NBA history. As a result it will be especially exciting for collectors to bid upon this unique treasure trove of rare memorabilia.”
For devoted fans, the chance to snap up Kobe’s high school uniforms is a rare opportunity. The auction includes his road maroon Lower Merion High School (LMHS) basketball uniform from his freshmen year, significant because this was the only year he wore #24 before switching to #33 for the remainder of his high school career. It is believed to be the only authentic game worn #24 Kobe Bryant LMHS jersey in existence. The next time Kobe wore a #24 jersey was when he switched his NBA number to it after the 2005-06 NBA season.
The six rings in the collection include: his 1996 High School McDonald’s All-American ring; 1996 High School State Championship ring; 1998 and 2000 NBA All-Star rings; plus a team issued Kobe Bryant 2000 Lakers championship ring given by Kobe to his father Joe Bryant and a specially designed version for his mother Pamela Bryant.
The auction features plaques, several LMHS practice jerseys, sweatsuit tops, warm-up jerseys; multiple LMHS Varsity Letters awarded for basketball; and his actual LMHS Central League Champions jacket. From his time as a youngster in Italy, collectors will be able to bid upon Kobe’s Italian Rieti #44 jersey – the earliest known Kobe Bryant game worn jersey ever offered at auction.
All items are accompanied by a Letter of Authenticity signed by Kobe’s mother Pamela Bryant. The LOA’s state that the items are all authentic and have been in the Bryant family’s possession until being consigned to auction. The complete catalog will be online coming soon.