Kobe Bryant’s Rookie Los Angeles Lakers Jersey Sells for Nearly $3 Million at Auction

by Jonathan Howard

Although he’s gone, the legend remains. Another Kobe Bryant jersey just sold at auction for almost $3 million on Sunday. SCP Auctions was the middle man in this equation, with neither the buyer nor seller wanting to come forward publicly. When the jersey went up for auction, it was another chance for someone to snag a piece of sports history.

The jersey was worn by Kobe Bryant during his rookie season, including two postseason games. Foks were expecting this one to go for a high price. It was just last year when a rookie jersey from the Black Mamba sold for $3.69 million.

David Kohler of SCP Auctions gave an estimation for the 25-year-old jersey between $3 and $5 million. While it went for below that amount, I’m sure the seller is glad to have seven figures in his pocket and the buyer is glad to have gotten a “deal” if you can call it that when talking about millions of dollars.

Of course, the jersey is a No. 8 and has some history behind it. Those NBA battles with the Utah Jazz would later shape young Kobe’s playoffs demeanor. Losing 4-1 his rookie year in the second round of the playoffs was not what he imagined, I’m sure. This specific jersey was worn by Bryant during a regular-season game against the Jazz, on April 13, 1997.

Kobe Bryant wearing the recently auctioned jersey in-game. (Photo Harry How/Allsport/Getty Images)

The jersey was independently authenticated so all is good and legit. No one getting swindled out of millions of dollars here.

The thing that separates the $3.69 million, record-breaking jersey and this one, is the Kobe signature. With that, who knows how much this latest jersey would have sold for?

Kobe Bryant Still Impacting the Game of Basketball

Six years after his final game, two years after his death and Kobe Bryant still has his fingerprints all over the NBA and basketball. He was an international superstar that was conversational in multiple languages, and well-liked and respected by virtually everyone in the basketball world.

Even today, watching superstars like Jayson Tatum and Steph Curry battle it out in the NBA Finals. You can feel and see his impact everywhere. Tatum, a Boston Celtic, wore a Lakers’ purple and yellow armband in memory of Kobe in Game 7 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals. Every time you see a player hit a clutch turn-around bucket and walk off like nothing happened – that’s Kobe.

Throughout the entire playoffs, his style and influence were on display. And that’s in a year when the Lakers aren’t even in the postseason. It’s more than jersey sales and auctions. It’s an entire attitude and style of play.

Mamba Mentality. Mamba Forever.