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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 12/3/2023

Kobe Bryant’s first career road game for the Los Angeles Lakers was November 5, 1996, at Madison Square Garden. The 18-year-old pup scored one point against the Knicks. On April 11, 2016, Mamba played his 785th (including playoffs) and final career road contest at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City. Wanting to put on a show for Thunder fans one last time, Kobe played the entire first quarter and tallied all 13 of his points in that frame. At 37 years old with twenty plus years of NBA mileage – on the second leg of a back-to-back (his third city in four nights) – that was all the offense he could muster. OKC cruised to a 112-79 victory, but the focus was all on #24.

Ironically, Lakers head coach [at the time] Byron Scott was Bryant’s teammate in ’96-97 – his final season as a player. He noticed the embers starting to burn in young Kobe back then, and it was only fitting that Scott was there two decades later to see Mamba Mentality come full circle during his farewell tour.

"[Kobe] found out he had a lot of love out there," said Scott. "Everybody showed their love because he came to play every single night. His competitive nature and the way he went about his business gained him a lot of respect around the world."

Early in the second half, Kobe and Durant went one-on-one for old times’ sake. Kobe’s last shot was a missed three with 5:29 left in the third quarter. Midway through the fourth with Bryant on the bench, fans began cheering for him to re-enter. "We want Kobe! We want Kobe!” Then it was simply, "Kobe, Kobe, Kobe…"

I tried to give it all I had,” recalled Bryant. “I tried to loosen up in the locker room coming out for the second half, but I couldn't move well at all."

Throughout his legendary career, the Black Mamba earned his superhero moniker on the road, drawing nervous boos from opposing fans and the aggregate awe from those same distant admirers after one of his rim-rattling dunks or fadeaway swishes. Between his first and last road contests, Bryant delivered some of his finest performances away from the friendly confines of The Forum or Staples Center: 61 points at MSG in 2009 (see Lot 25 for game ball); 60 in Memphis; 58 in Charlotte; 51 against Golden State, Phoenix, Denver and Sacramento. Including the playoffs, Bryant scored 19,575 points and played 29,018 minutes on the road in his career (basketball-reference). Fortunately, Kobe left enough in the tank for his breathtaking “Mamba Out” 60-point final game performance at Staples Center two nights later.

The farewell season for Kobe Bryant was a physical and mental struggle – he averaged 17.6 points in 28 minutes and the Lakers finished last with a 17-65 record – but it certainly had a fairytale ending. Kobe gave his worldwide viewing audience the ultimate going-away present. Presented here is another special gift for Kobe collectors: his final career game worn road uniform. Both the jersey and shorts have been conclusively photo-matched to the 4/11/2016 contest by Resolution Photomatching and Sports Investors.

The purple mesh jersey has “LAKERS” across the chest in gold tackle twill with a white-stitched border. Kobe’s iconic number “24” appears front and back in white mesh with a gold-stitched border on purple tackle twill. An arched “BRYANT” is sewn directly on the back in gold-on-white tackle twill. The NBA logo is embroidered on the left chest. The front left tail has Adidas manufacturer’s tagging with size 4XL and a Length +4” flag tag. Adjacent to that is its official NBA jersey identification code reading “LLA03036.” Inside the left inseam is the washing instructions and a smaller tag with the “05/15” manufacturing date and “F96232 AZB012” code. Inside the rear collar is a “4XL4” size tag.

The matching purple trunks come in size 3XL (Length +2” flag tag) with No. “24” in black marker on the Adidas Climacool label inside the rear waistband. Two “L” team logo patches adorn each leg near the tail of the gold piping. One significant feature is a microphone pouch inside the front waistband so that Kobe could be mic’d up during games. Most jerseys customized for mics keep this pouch along the inseam near the inner armpit; this may have been uncomfortable for Bryant, so he opted to keep it in his shorts instead. We know this was one of Kobe’s favorite pairs to take on road trips. Resolution has matched it to nine additional games over the last two months of his farewell season!

Kobe’s final road uniform is arguably one of the most important pieces of Lakers game-used memorabilia to come up for auction. Both the jersey and shorts exhibit obvious wear with plenty of puckering, stretching, and fraying visible. Both have been perfectly preserved since the last time he suited up. The likelihood of any uniform piece (jersey, shorts, or shoes) from the “Mamba Out” game ever seeing the light of day is slim-to-none. Those museum relics will surely stay in the Bryant family or perhaps end up in Springfield, Mass. some day. Thus, any realistic collector understands that this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own the last worn Kobe uniform that will truly ever become available. Includes full photo-matched paperwork from Resolution and Sports Investors.

Estimate: $500,000+  No Reserve

Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $50,000
Final prices include buyers premium.: $366,967
Number Bids:20
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