The Los Angeles Lakers may not be in the postseason any longer but they’re still making headlines. Kobe Bryant may have torn up his achilles tendon but he’s still a hot commodity on the memorabilia market and it’s apparently something his mother is trying cash in on. According a report, the NBA superstar has filed legal action against his own mother in an attempt to block her from essentially exploiting his celebrity.
Goldin Auctions of West Berlin 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. The keepsakes — including uniforms, rings and trophies — would be offered on consignment for Pamela Bryant, the athlete’s mother.
While this seems all fine and dandy, Kobe is pulling rank by saying he owns the memorabilia being sold and wants to block the items from being sold by his mother. But while Kobe is claiming it’s his property his mother, Pamela, is trying to sell without his permission, Pamela is contending that the items have been in her possession for the last 15 years and are legally hers.
This is just the start of what is looking like an ugly court battle over a bunch of old sweaty uniforms. However, there is real value in what Pamela is trying to sell, as sports memorabilia collectors are insane about one-of-a-kind items and things like “the earliest game-worn Kobe jersey” would be an item that sells at quite the price.
The specific jersey mentioned was one worn by Kobe as a child in Italy. Kobe spent his childhood in Italy while his father Joe Bryant played pro basketball there. According to a court filing, Pamela states that Kobe “gave these items to her, stating ‘Here Mom, these are for you.’”
As we all do, when our famous child gives us something we immediately think I wonder when I can sell these. Pamela says that for the last five years she stored the items in West Berlin at a cost of $1,500 per month. Goldin Auctions of West Berlin is in on this whole matter too, siding with Pamela. The auction company states that if the items aren’t sold, they stand to lose not only the advance they gave Bryant’s mother but the commission from the sale of the items.
Kobe’s attorney doesn’t see things the same way Pamela and Goldin Auction sees it.
“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, via the Courier Post Online.
This matter seems far from over, but it just goes to show that while athletes may thank their mothers when they win awards and trophies, that love apparently exists up until they try to sell your belongings for personal gain.