Kobe Bryant remains one of the most celebrated basketball icons globally even in death. Many of his fans and admirers will spend a fortune to have any of his memorabilia. According to Yahoo News, an opportunity has been created for his fans to own some of his memorabilia.
The late legendary basketball player’s 1-of-2 Air Jordans went live for IPO on his birthday, August 23. The sneakers, which are valued at $89,000, are being auctioned for IPO by Collectable. Bryant reportedly honored his mentor Michael Jordan by wearing the iconic French Blue Air Jordan 12 Retro’s.
Bryant since his childhood has been a big fan of Jordan. Besides wearing the French Blue Air Jordan 12 to honor Jordan, he appeared in Jordan’s “The Last Dance” documentary.
“I was a kid that shot a bunch of air balls, you know what I mean? And at that point, Michael provided a lot of guidance for me. Like I had a question about shooting this turnaround shot, so I asked him about it. He gave me a great, detailed answer but on top of that, he said, ‘If you ever need anything, give me a call.’ That’s like my big brother,” he said.
Bryant has signed on both sides of the sneakers and according to Collectable, the two pairs are the only pairs in existence. He wore the Air Jordan 12 sneakers to play a Lakers vs. Boston Celtics game in December 2003.
“The pair features white leather high-top uppers with flared stitching, as well as blue leather side panels signed by Bryant in a silver paint pen,” according to Footwearnews.
This April, Bryant’s estate ended its long-standing partnership with Nike, citing Nike’s decision to limit the availability of Bryant products during his retirement and after his death.
Bryant first signed a deal with Nike in 2003 after leaving Adidas when he entered the league in 1996. It was one of the biggest basketball deals Nike has signed. The company produced multiple lines of Kobe shoes and gear. He signed an endorsement extension in April 2016.
Bryant died in a helicopter crash in January. Bryant was flying along with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and John Altobelli, head baseball coach at Orange Coast College, who was also with his wife Keri and daughter Alyssa.
In a career that spanned two decades, the Black Mamba’s face became synonymous with the LA Lakers, where he won five Championship titles playing with the likes of Shaquille O’Neal and Steve Nash.