Kobe Bryant game-worn Lakers jersey from rookie season sells for $2.73M.

The seller was in possession of the jersey for 25 years

LAGUNA NIGUEL, Calif. (AP) — A jersey worn by Kobe Bryant in his rookie season, including two playoff games, has sold at auction for $2.73 million.

SCP Auctions said Sunday the buyer wished to remain anonymous as did the seller, who had the jersey for 25 years. David Kohler of SCP Auctions had estimated the jersey from the 1996-97 season would fetch between $3 million and $5 million.

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.

The winning bidder this time acquired 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. The jersey’s authenticity was verified by independent authenticators, who photo-matched it, Kohler said.

Bryant was killed on Jan. 26, 2020, in a California helicopter crash that also took the lives of his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others.

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While the winning bidder paid a hefty price tag for the jersey, it still isn’t the most lucrative Bryant jersey that has been purchased on the auction block.

In 2021, one of Bryant’s rookie Lakers jersey sold for $3.69 million. That one was also autographed, and with that price tag it is still the most expensive sum ever paid for a basketball jersey.