The Los Angeles Lakers jersey worn by late basketball legend Kobe Bryant during the sole season he was named the National Basketball League’s most valuable player could sell for as much as $7 million at auction next month, three years after his sudden death in a helicopter crash.
Bryant wore the #24 jersey more than two-dozen times throughout the 2007-2008 season, Sotheby’s said.
While the Lakers ultimately lost the NBA championship to the Boston Celtics that year, Bryant was named the season MVP after scoring a total of 645 points—averaging 28.5 per game—marking the only time in his 20-year basketball career he ever received the title.
The jersey is also recognizable for being the one worn by Bryant in a series of famous images showing him celebrating after sinking a three-pointer in the late fourth quarter of a 2008 game against the Denver Nuggets, securing a lead for the Lakers.
In the photographs, Bryant is shown yelling in celebration and holding up the Lakers logo and the number 24 emblazoned on his jersey for the Los Angeles Staples crowd to see.
The photographs featuring the jersey are some of the most memorable images of Bryant ever taken, Sotheby’s said, and have been memorialized in dozens of murals around the world, including a famous piece by artist Jonas Never located near the former Staples Center.
Sotheby’s said the jersey will be available in a dedicated online auction from February 2 to February 9.
$10.1 million. That’s how much one of Michael Jordan‘s game-worn Chicago Bulls jerseys fetched last year, becoming the most expensive sports memorabilia ever sold at auction. It surpassed the previous record, Diego Maradona’s “Hand of God” 1986 World Cup quarter final jersey which sold for $9.3 million just months before.
Bryant died in January 2020 in a helicopter crash that also claimed the lives of his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Bryant, six of their family friends and the pilot. His death sent shock waves through the basketball world, and the NBA postponed the next game set to be played by the Lakers, the team Bryant played on for all 20 seasons of his professional career. Last year, a game-worn jersey from Byrant’s rookie season sold at auction for $2.73 million.
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