In January of last year, a helicopter accident killed NBA star Kobe Bryant, then 41, his daughter Gianna, 13, and seven others. With this, the collectible items of the former player, who left his name eternal on the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team (USA), became even more sought after and valuable.
This is the case with the size 46 pair of sneakers worn by Bryant in his first NBA game. Adidas’ black and white shoes are being auctioned by the American website Gotta Have Rock and Roll and the minimum offer is US$ 100,000 (R$ 523,000) – the estimate on the page is that it will reach US$ 500,000 (about R$ 2.61 million).
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The Black Mamba, as they were known, began their career as a playmaker for the Lakers on November 3, 1995, aged 18, in a match against the Minnesota Timberwolves. He came off the bench to play just six minutes and get a rebound and a block. At the time, his team won by 91 to 85.
Kobe Bryant has won five major US basketball championships; was named the best player in the NBA three times; participated in 18 All-Star Games (NBA Stars Game); and won two Olympic gold medals. Not to mention the 4th highest scorer in the league’s history, with 33,643 points.
“A world-class competitor with an unrivaled work ethic. There’s not much to say about Kobe that hasn’t been said yet. He is one of, if not the greatest, top scorer in NBA history”, says the auction site on the exhibition page of the tennis used by the former player.
According to Gotta Have Rock and Roll, the shoe belongs to a Lakers superfan, Scott Hurlimann, who lives in the state of North Dakota (USA). He went to Kobe Bryant’s debut game and asked the guard wingman to give him the sneakers. “No problem, just meet here after the game,” the late NBA star would have said, quoted by the auction site. A few years later, the fan met the athlete again and asked him to initial the shoe – in his haste, he just wrote his initials.
Although only six minutes were used in the match against the Minnesota Timberwolves, the pair of shoes has signs of wear, which, according to Gotta Have Rock and Roll, is probably due to use in pre-match practice.
The auction will open next Wednesday (11/8) and the Kobe Bryant collector’s piece comes with a letter of authenticity from the American authentication company MEARS.
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