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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 6/5/2022

Kobe Bean Bryant. The Black Mamba. The Eighth Wonder of the World. Mr. 81. However one may refer to him, there is no doubt that Kobe is one of the greatest players to ever don a Lakers jersey and play the game of basketball. Kobe’s five rings and countless memorable playoff performances speak for themselves, as does the fact that he’s fourth all-time in playoff scoring.

Long before Kobe Bryant became fourth on the all-time NBA playoff scoring list, he donned this recently uncovered jersey in his rookie season including his first playoff run. Twenty-five years after the Mamba’s playoff debut, the only jersey ever photomatched to his 1996-97 rookie season playoff run is presented here. The incredible jersey has been conclusively photomatched to five games from the Mamba’s rookie campaign, including two playoff games. Kobe donned the signature purple and gold threads of this jersey on April 11, April 13, April 17, May 8, and May 10, 1997. 

May 8th and 10th were Games 3 and 4 of the Lakers’ Western Conference Semifinals matchup with the Utah Jazz, the first NBA playoffs Kobe ever participated in. The future Hall of Famer was in the genesis of his storied playoff career when he wore this jersey against the Jazz. In Game 3, Kobe poured in 19 points in a 104-84 Lakers victory. In Game 4, the 18-year-old guard led all bench players with nine points and two rebounds in a 110-95 defeat. Game 4 was also the final time he put on a home Lakers jersey in 1996-97, making this jersey the final gold threads worn by Bryant during his rookie year. All information from our consignor points to the jersey also being worn by the Mamba during his playoff debut series against Portland in the first round that year.

In the three matched rookie-year regular season games (April 11, 13 and 17), Kobe combined to put up 22 points and six assists in a trio of victories over the Suns, Jazz, and Kings. Not only is the rookie jersey photomatched to two playoff and three regular-season games, but it was also matched to his 1997 Skybox Z-Force trading card. Bryant can be spotted wearing the jaw-dropping jersey on the back of the card. One of the twelve PSA 10s of this card in existence will be included with the jersey!

The jersey includes full LOAs from Resolution Photomatching, Sports Investors Authentication, and MeiGray. The Resolution LOA conclusively matches the jersey to April 13, April 17, May 8, and May 10, 1997. The Sports Investors LOA matches the jersey to these four games, as well as April 11, 1997. The MeiGray LOA definitively matches the iconic threads to May 8 and May 10, 1997. To view every image and LOA of the jersey, CLICK HERE.

Current Bidding (Reserve Has Been Met)
Minimum Bid: $250,000
Final prices include buyers premium.: $2,735,546
Number Bids:26
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