*A rare Kobe Bryant rookie card sold for $1.795 million at Goldin Auctions on Saturday, making it one of the most expensive basketball cards ever sold.
The name of the buyer has not yet been revealed but the auction house noted that the card is one of two in the world.
The “1996-97 Topps Chrome Refractors #138 Kobe Bryant Rookie Card — BGS PRISTINE/Black Label 10” was sold “at its level of perfection,” according to Goldin Auctions, per MSN.
The five-time NBA champion died at age 41 in a helicopter crash in California on Jan. 26, 2020. Almost immediately, Bryant cards reportedly increased in value by 600%, according to eBay sales data.
“Kobe Bryant was one of the fiercest competitors of all time and a truly larger-than-life figure. His rookie card is one of the rarest in existence and one of only two on earth in black label pristine condition, which is the highest possible obtainable grade. The fact that it sold for the final auction price of $1.795 million, the all-time record for any Kobe Bryant card, speaks to just how beloved he was around the world,” Ken Goldin, founder of Goldin Auctions, told ESPN. “The enthusiasm for trading cards and memorabilia has never been higher and as even more people recognize the incredible investment opportunity these assets offer, we anticipate that interest will only continue to grow.”
Final Sale Price: $1,795,800
An all-time record for any Kobe Bryant card. pic.twitter.com/dTStDwavHx
— Goldin Auctions (@GoldinAuctions) March 7, 2021
Meanwhile, EURweb previously reported that Kyrie Irving took to Instagram recently to suggest the league alter its logo to honor the Lakers legend.
While sharing a graphic of what he thinks the new logo should look like, the athlete explained, that it has “Gotta Happen, idc what anyone says. BLACK KINGS BUILT THE LEAGUE.” Bryant’s widow, Vanessa Bryant, appeared to be on board with the idea as she reposted Irving’s picture of the logo, saying “love this. @KyrieIring.”
NBA commissioner Adam Silver has shot that down, saying have been no discussions about changing the logo.
Sports reporter Mark Stein noted that Silver said “There are no ongoing discussions right now at the league office” adding, “it just doesn’t feel like the right moment” to change the league’s logo.
One fan responded by pointing out that the league will never change the logo to Kobe because of his 2003 rape case.
Bryant was 24 when he had what he described as a “consensual” sexual encounter with a 19-year-old woman who claimed he raped her in a Colorado hotel room in July 2003.
The criminal case was dismissed in 2004 after the accuser refused to testify. In August 2004, she filed a civil suit against Kobe, which was settled out of court in 2005.
“… I do not question the motives of this young woman. No money has been paid to this woman,” Kobe Bryant said in a statement on the day the case was dismissed. “She has agreed that this statement will not be used against me in the civil case. Although I truly believe this encounter between us was consensual, I recognize now that she did not and does not view this incident the same way I did. After months of reviewing discovery, listening to her attorney, and even her testimony in person, I now understand how she feels that she did not consent to this encounter.”