A Los Angeles Lakers jersey worn by Kobe Bryant during his only MVP season in 2007-08 fetched $5.8 million at an auction on Thursday, becoming the second-most expensive basketball jersey ever sold, auction house Sotheby’s said.
Michael Jordan’s jersey from the opening game of the 1998 NBA Finals holds the record for the most expensive piece of game-worn sports memorabilia in history after it sold for over $10 million in September also via Sotheby’s.
Bryant, an 18-times All Star and five-times NBA champion, died in a January 2020 helicopter crash that also killed his daughter and seven others.
Sotheby’s website said the jersey was signed by Bryant and worn by him in 25 of his 82 games that season, including six playoff games.
“The image of Kobe wearing this particular jersey during the NBA playoffs has permeated in popular culture, reprinted on murals, books, newspapers,” Brahm Wachter, Sotheby’s head of streetwear and modern collectables, said in a statement.
“(It) has become a symbol of his fierce determination and passion that has resonated with audiences across the world.”
—Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford