Kobe Bryant memorabilia has created bidding wars in various online auctions since his death in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26. Now a very limited piece is about to sell for a massive amount of money. A wealthy fan will soon own a piece of hardwood floor from Bryant's final game.
According to TMZ, the piece of flooring from the Staples Center will hit the auction block on Sept. 4. Heritage Auctions will host the lot, as well as a live auction on Sept. 26. The limited item features Bryant's original No. 8 in white paint and outlined in purple. The late NBA icon autographed the flooring before walking off the court after his final game, one where he scored 60 points and led the Lakers to victory against the Utah Jazz.
Consisting of four panels each measuring four-by-eight-feet (48x96"), the colorful tribute to a departing hero is one of the most inspiring lots that Heritage has had the privilege to present to the collecting world. Though the number will never again appear upon a Lakers jersey, it lives forever in this commanding format, ready to be built into one lucky collector's personal court, or to serve as a massive wall display, or an inspirational public display (the "24" number from the same game is currently installed at the Los Angeles Lakers practice facility).
The auction does not start until September, but Heritage Auctions does have an estimated price. The site expects that the flooring will ultimately sell for around $500,000. Although this is the starting point in the item's description.
The seller will reportedly donate 10% of the proceeds from the auction to the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation. This organization, named after Bryant and his daughter Gianna, promotes youth sports. It also funds gifted athletes from "difficult backgrounds" and provides the opportunity for them to play sports at their respective schools or in a chosen league.
This is only the latest auction involving a piece of memorabilia from Bryant's iconic career. Back in June, Goldin Auctions hosted an auction that focused on a championship ring from the 1999-2000 season. Bryant had ordered two matching rings for his parents, Joe and Pamela Bryant, but both later sold at auction.
Throughout his career, Bryant was one of the league's best players en route to becoming an 18-time All-Star. He helped lead the Lakers to five championships and reached fourth place on the league's all-time scoring list. Bryant also had two numbers retired by the Lakers organization, becoming the first NBA player to earn this honor.