A rare Kobe Bryant jersey from the Los Angeles Lakers star’s only MVP season sold for $5.8 million Thursday, according to a tweet from Sotheby’s.
The auction house said the sale marks “the most valuable Bryant item ever sold at auction and second most valuable basketball jersey ever sold.”
The market value of the No. 24 jersey had been estimated at $5-7 million.
Sotheby’s described the jersey as a “sports artifact” which has become “synonymous” with the image of the NBA star.
An iconic photo of Bryant grabbing his jersey after clinching a 14-point lead against the Denver Nuggets during the 2008 NBA playoffs has been captured and recreated endless times.
Its likeness spans murals across Los Angeles and the US, is frequently reprinted on Lakers memorabilia, and has become a symbol of the basketball star’s determination and passion.
During his 2007-2008 season, Bryant averaged almost 28.3 points per game and scored 2,323 points over the course of the regular season, according to the NBA.
The jersey is the only one he wore in the 2008 playoffs where he led the Lakers to the NBA finals for the first time since Shaquille O’Neal was traded, according to Sotheby’s.
The auction took place shortly after the three-year anniversary of Bryant’s death, where he and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Maria Onore Bryant were among nine people killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California in January 2020.
During his time in the NBA, Bryant won five championships, four NBA All-Star Game MVP awards, two NBA Finals MVPs and two Olympic gold medals. An 18-time All-Star, he was known for his scoring ability and championship pedigree.
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