Goldin Auctions of West Berlin, South Jersey is at the center of a family fight between future NBA Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant and his mother.
The Jersey sports-collectibles firm wants to sell more than 100 items from the Los Angeles Lakers' pro career and his days as a high school player in suburban Philadelphia. Bryant's keepsakes — which include uniforms, championship rings and trophies, and other mementos — would be offered up on consignment by Pamela Bryant, the athlete's mother.
The disagreement is a high-value, high-profile version of a question that many families face: Can Mom get rid of the stuff a grown child left at home? It is a fair question. But in Kobe Bryant's case, the 900 mementos that have impacted the Black Mamba's life happen to be worth upward of $1.5 million. Could you imagine someone in your neighborhood rocking Bryant's practice gear from Lower Merion High School or dribbling a signed basketball from the 2000 NBA championship game?
Right? We couldn't either and now Kobe Bryant is attempting to block the planned June auction, insisting that he owns the memorabilia. The dispute moved to a federal court in Camden, N.J., Thursday, when an attorney for the auction house requested a court order to allow the sale.
If a judge approves the sale, bidders could compete for all of his memorabilia and win "the earliest known Kobe Bryant game-worn jersey ever offered at auction." According to the filing, Pamela Bryant "indicated her son gave these items to her, stating, 'Here Mom, these are for you.'" Kobe's attorney sees it differently, saying, "Mr. Bryant's personal property has ended up in the possession of someone who does not lawfully own it," asserted Mark Campbell of Loeb & Loeb in Los Angeles. In seeking an injunction against Kobe Bryant, Goldin's attorney cited the potential loss of the advance payment to Bryant's mother, as well as the loss of a 20 percent commission on auction sales.