In the immediate aftermath of Kobe Bryant's tragic passing, nearly all merchandise associated with him skyrocketed in price. Now, two years later, a piece of memorabilia from early in his career sold for a historic sum.
According to TMZ, a game-worn Kobe No. 8 jersey from his rookie season sold at auction via SCP Auctions. The final total was an incredible $2,735,546 after 26 bids.
Per the report, the jersey was one Kobe wore during the 1997 playoffs against the Utah Jazz. It is the earliest known jersey that Kobe wore during any playoff series. He wore this particular one at least five times.
TMZ initially projected that the jersey could fetch up to $5 million. The current record paid for a jersey worn in a game by an American athlete is $5.64 million for a Babe Ruth jersey.
The world record was shattered when the jersey soccer legend Diego Maradona wore in the "Hand of God Game" sold for over $9 million earlier this year.
But $2.7 million for a Kobe jersey is nothing to sneeze at. Not at all.
Last year it was another piece of Kobe Bryant memorabilia that set the record for highest price paid for a game-used basketball jersey. Another jersey from his rookie season sold for $3.6 million in May 2021.
Since his passing in January 2020, several more fans have paid upwards of $200,000 for some of his most iconic memorabilia.
One fan paid $201k for his 2000 NBA title win, another paid $216k for a Chevy Impala he bought his wife in 2006. And in October 2020, one fan spent over $630k for a signed piece of hardwood from his farewell game in 2016.
No price is too high for the most diehard Kobe fans.