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Bryant's first jersey could bag Sh579m

BASKETBALL By Reuters | May 5th 2022 | 1 min read
Sneakers and a Los Angeles Lakers uniform worn by NBA star Kobe Bryant. [AP]

A purple and gold jersey worn 25 years ago by Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant during his rookie season will hit the auction block next month and is estimated to fetch between $3 million and $5 million, SCP Auctions said on Wednesday.

Bryant entered the league as a teenager in 1996 and the number eight jersey has been "resolution photomatched" to four games during his rookie campaign, including two playoff games, SCP said.

The jersey has also been matched to Bryant's 1997 Skybox Z-Force trading card, where he can be seen wearing it on the back of the card.

"In SCP's opinion, this spectacular specimen from the legendary Laker's rookie campaign could set a new price record for a game worn basketball jersey," the auction house said in a release.

"The current record is $3.69 million (Sh452m) for another Kobe rookie jersey. However, that example was worn solely in the regular season, whereas this magnificent jersey was worn in the Mamba's first-ever playoffs."

Bryant entered the league straight out of high school and went on to win five NBA championships in his 20 seasons with the Lakers.

The Hall of Famer perished in a helicopter crash in January 2020.

Bidding on the jersey begins May 18 and concludes June 4.

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