A shirt worn by American basketball legend Kobe Bryant — who died three years ago in a helicopter crash — was sold at auction for $5.8 million today. Assignment
The sale by Sotheby’s in New York set a new record for any Bryant item at auction but came in below the asking price. first it was $7 million.
The price exceeded the previous record of $3.7 million paid for the jersey worn by the Los Angeles Lakers titan, who won five NBA titles and two Olympic gold medals.
Sports memorabilia is big business.
Michael Jordan’s 1998 NBA Finals jersey, which sold for $10.1 million in September 2022, is the most valuable item.
Diego Maradona’s “Hand of God” shirt sold for $9.3 million at Sotheby’s in London last year.
Bryant’s yellow and purple number 24 jersey, sold by an anonymous bidder, was worn by the legendary Laker in 25 games during the 2007-2008 season. only Bryant is the NBA’s Most Valuable Player.
In one of those appearances – a postseason game against the Denver Nuggets on April 23, 2008 – photographers famously captured Bryant’s excitement when completed a successful three-pointer, grabbed his shirt and screamed first.
The image has since been plastered on walls around the world by street artists, especially in Los Angeles, where Bryant has played throughout his professional career.
The last time this shirt was put up for auction, in 2013, it fetched just $18,678.
Decades before Bryant’s fatal helicopter crash, his April 2008 memorial later became “an image that moved the public,” Sotheby’s said.
Kobe Bryant jersey sold for $5.8 million at auction