Lakers fans get ready, one of the Black Mamba’s most storied jerseys is headed to auction.
Next month, Sotheby’s will take bids for the late Kobe Bryant’s MVP season jersey that he wore in 25 games during the 2007-08 campaign. The signed jersey is estimated to sell for between $5 million and $7 million by the auction house.
The lot is part of an online Sotheby’s auction titled Zenith, which is curated in homage to a number of legendary athletes. Part I of the two-part auction will open bidding on Bryant’s jersey from February 2 to 9. Zenith Part II will feature other game-worn gear from star including Tom Brady, Michael Jordan and Roger Federer. The NBA legend’s MVP jersey will be sold online, but you’ll also have a chance to view it on display at Sotheby’s New York galleries from February 1 to 7.
One of the most memorable images of Bryant ever captured—one immortalized in a mural of the star in LA as well as on books, tattoos, T-shirts and more—happened while wearing the jersey that’s about to hit the block. In a first round series against Carmelo Anthony, Allen Iverson and the Denver Nuggets, Bryant hit a dagger three in the fourth quarter and after the shot, Denver called a timeout to regroup. Sensing he’d demoralized the Nuggets, Bryant celebrated, popping his jersey out to the crowd as Denver retreated to their bench. The Mamba’s shot had put the game out of reach and paved the way to a four-game sweep for the Lakers.
From the start of the season through the Western Conference Finals, Bryant scored a total of 645 points in the jersey over six playoff games, 14 regular season games and five pre-season games. And the night he accepted his MVP trophy, this was what he was wearing.
“It’s rare that an athlete can move past the bounds of their sport, but Kobe Bryant is certainly one of the special few who has left an everlasting impact on the world,” says Brahm Wachter, Sotheby’s head of streetwear and modern collectables in a statement. “Sports artifacts with this type of long-term, heavy wear are a rarity in the collecting space, with many modern items worn for just a single game. The fact that Kobe scored a total of 645 points over eight months in this jersey, in his only MVP season, is simply stunning.”
The current record set for sports memorabilia once owned by Bryant is a game-worn and autographed basketball jersey from 1996 -1997, which sold for $3.7 million in 2021. Given the significance of his 2007-2008 MVP jersey, it may trump that sale. A variety of items depicting the jersey including artwork, magazines, T-shirts, photos, books and more will come with the lot. To place your bids on the Zenith Part 1 offering from February 2 to 9, visit Sothebys.com.