Kobe Bryant’s Family Feud Will Benefit Bully Project
Kobe Bryant is used to leaving defenders’ jock straps on the court with his killer crossover and fade-away jumper. Unfortunately he had to use similar skills against his own mother, leaving her sexy panties on the floor of a New Jersey federal court.
Pamela Bryant, Kobe’s mother, had her eye on a house in Nevada, but did not have the funds readily available for a down payment. What she did have was 900-plus pieces of memorabilia from her NBA superstar son’s high school and early NBA years. Pamela got in touch with Goldin Auctions in Berlin, N.J. this past January, and handed over all of the items in exchange for a $450,000 advance on the auction proceeds. Kobe caught wind of what was happening after he saw the press release indicating the auction would begin in June. He filed a temporary restraining order in Los Angeles federal court, which was granted in early May, forcing Goldin to stop its scheduled June auction. Goldin had already paid Pamela the advance, so filed a lawsuit of their own in New Jersey to proceed with the auction.
The Bryant Collection
This entire saga began because of a misunderstanding between mother and son. Pamela says Kobe gave her the items to keep, so she put them in a $1,500 per month storage unit, according to the Daily Mail. But Kobe, according to court documents, said that his mother did not own the items, nor did she have permission to sell them. The collection, worth upwards of $1.5 million in Goldin’s estimation, is quite impressive.
Some of the items include Kobe’s #24 and #33 Lower Merion High School jerseys, and the corresponding 1996 Pennsylvania state high school championship ring. Kobe’s 1998 NBA All-Star ring and his first #8 Lakers jersey was also part of the package. Several pairs of sneakers, trophies, medals, plaques and ribbons would have also been up for grabs to the highest bidder.
Shortly after Goldin Auctions filed its lawsuit, the parties reached a settlement which allows six of the items to be sold at the auction that began June 17 and runs through July 19. Those items, which Goldin expects will bring in more than $500,000, include the aforementioned high school jerseys, All-Star ring, NBA championship rings, and a medal Kobe earned from the 1996 Magic Johnson Roundball Classic. Half of the proceeds from the sale of the rings and medallion will go to the Bully Project, the anti-bullying campaign Kobe has supported in the past. Further details of the settlement are confidential. The current bid on the jerseys is $19,489 each, while the all star ring is at $12,100. The auction does not close until July 19, so Kobe fans with the means have plenty of time to get their hands on a piece of history.
Kobe would only say that the dispute was amicably resolved, while Pamela issued an apology to both her son and Goldin Auctions.
Creative Commons image by Keith Allison