LAGUNA NIGUEL, Calif. — A jersey worn by Kobe Bryant in the NBA playoffs during his rookie season was sold late Saturday for $2.375 million.
According to SCP Auctions, the final gavel price of $2,735,546 included a buyer’s premium. The yellow home jersey was worn by Bryant during his 1996-97 rookie season with the Lakers, including a pair of playoff games, according to the California-based auction house.
The jersey was photo matched to the playoff contests, along with three regular-season games, SCP Auctions wrote in the auction listing for the jersey.
SCP Auctions said the buyer and seller wanted to remain anonymous, The Associated Press reported.
Another Bryant rookie jersey set the record price of $3.69 million in May 2021, Sports Collectors Daily reported. That sale provided the impetus for the owner of the playoff jersey to offer it for sale, the sports collectibles news website reported.
The winning bidder in Saturday’s auction won the No. 8 jersey Bryant wore during the regular-season wins at the old Forum on April 13, 1997, against Utah, and April 17, 1997, against Sacramento, according to the AP. According to the auction listing, Bryant wore the jersey during Game 3 and Game 4 of the NBA’s Western Conference semifinals against the Jazz, which were played a month later on May 8 and May 10.
The jersey’s authenticity was verified by independent authenticators who photo-matched it, SCP Auctions President David Kohler told the AP. Kohler had predicted that the jersey could sell for more than $3 million.
Bryant died on Jan. 26, 2020, in a California helicopter crash that also took the lives of his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others.
Other items in the auction included the only known autographed copy of Bryant’s 1997 Skybox Metal Universe Precious Metal Gems card, which sold for $403,664, Sports Collectors Daily reported.
One of eight PSA authenticated copies of Babe Ruth’s 1933 Goudey baseball card sold for $275,696, and a baseball bat used by Ruth during the 1920s fetched $227,856.
“The overall auction brought extremely strong numbers and many record sales,” Kohle told Sports Collectors Daily. “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.”
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