Kobe Bryant rookie jersey to be auctioned, $3M-5M estimate

Last year, one of Kobe Bryant's rookie trading cards was sold at an auction for $1.8 million. 

A jersey worn by Kobe Bryant in his rookie season, including two playoff games, will be sold at auction.

The jersey from the 1996-97 season could fetch between $3 million and $5 million in an online auction that begins May 18, David Kohler of SCP Auctions said Saturday. 

“We feel this could bring a record for any basketball jersey,” he said.

16 Oct 1996: Forward George McCloud of the Dallas Mavericks (left) moves the ball as Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant covers him during a game at Selland Arena in Fresno, California. The Lakers won the game, 90-80. Mandatory Credit: Todd Warshaw /A

Kohler said the seller, who wants to remain anonymous, has had the jersey for 25 years.

The seller approached Kohler after seeing another of Bryant’s rookie jerseys went for $3.69 million last year. That autographed, yellow game-worn jersey fetched the highest price ever for a basketball jersey.

Also last year, a rookie trading card of Bryant’s sold for $1.8 million. Neither of the 2021 sales were conducted by SCP Auctions.

The upcoming auction features the No. 8 jersey Bryant wore for the Los Angeles Lakers in regular-season wins at the old Forum on April 13, 1997, against Utah and April 17, 1997, against Sacramento.

He donned the same jersey at home on May 8 and May 10 in the Western Conference semifinals against Utah. The Lakers won the first game, with Bryant scoring 19 points. They lost the second game in which he had nine points. They went on to lose the series, 4-1, to conclude Bryant’s rookie year.

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