Following Kobe Bryant's death in a Jan. 26 helicopter crash, his fans made it very clear that they wanted to purchase memorabilia to honor his memory. They bought everything possible from Nike and then went in search of other sources. There will now be even more merchandise made available through an upcoming auction, but the fans are struggling with their feelings on the matter.
It was recently announced that Julien's Auctions will be holding a "Sports Legends" auction on Apr. 30. This event will be held both in Beverly Hills, California and online, providing sports fans with an opportunity to acquire some unique items. There will be a collection of items from Bryant, including a full uniform from the 1999-2000 NBA Finals and his handprints from Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood.
There are other items from sports history, but the fans focused on those from the Bryant collection. As many wrote on social media, selling these items so soon after the NBA icon's death just seemed awful.
"Hey, how about give those to his family! The hand prints at the very least! Imagine if you didn't profit off of some ones pain, yet poured into them. I think the family would Love to put their hands in his over the years. Just a thought," one fan wrote on social media.
There were several fans on Twitter posting about how this auction seemed to be predatory. They couldn't believe that the auction house would be selling these items in order to make some money. One user even referred to the auction house as "leeches."
"Quick profit. With long lasting bad karma is what I wish for everyone who's taking advantage of this tragic event. Sell at your own risk," another frustrated individual added to the conversation.
While many of Bryant's fans were shocked by the nature of this auction, others were far less surprised. They had been expecting something to happen after the helicopter crash as individuals attempted to make some money.
"NBA: It was only a matter of time before California auctioneers began cashing in on KOBE BRYANT - A cache of Kobe Bryant memorabilia is up for sale on April 30th via Julien's Auctions in Beverly Hills - His home worn #24 Lakers jersey should fetch between $4000-$6000 for example," one Twitter user wrote.0comments
USA Today reports that the items were already being planned for auction prior to Bryant's death, but that did not ease the frustration for his fans on social media. They still felt that this was a poor display of judgment from the auction house. Several even called for the proceeds to be donated to support the other victims' families.
(Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images)