January 27, 03:44 PM GMT
150,000 - 250,000 USD
ADIDAS, ADIDAS CLIMACOOL JERSEY, SIZE 4XL (+4 LENGTH)
ADIDAS, ADIDAS CLIMACOOL SHORTS, SIZE 3XL (+2 LENGTH)
When Kobe Bryant was drafted into the NBA at 17 years old he did not celebrate with an elaborate draft party. Instead, Bryant reportedly went to the gym. 17 years later, when he tore his achilles, Kobe was not carried off the court by his teammates. With a face displaying agony, he instead hobbled to the free throw line and made both shots, touching nothing but net.
This jersey is an embodiment of the competitive spirit, and of who Kobe Bryant was as an athlete. On January 21, 2015 – wearing this uniform – a 36 year-old Kobe Bryant grimaced as he injured his right shoulder in the 3rd Quarter against the New Orleans Pelicans. With 5 minutes remaining in the 4th Quarter, and down 13 points – Kobe re-entered the game – deciding he would play left-handed. Miraculously he was able to score, determined not to give up. The game has become a famous moment for Bryant, with videos of Kobe’s left-handed shots continually circling on Social Media.
An embodiment of the competitive spirit, it was Bryant’s ability to attack each game with an unparalleled desire to win that made him one of this generation’s greatest. When Kobe retired in 2016, he did so as a 5-time NBA champion, a league MVP, a 2-time scoring champion, and a 12-time All-Defensive team selection. A complete player and an ambassador of the game, Bryant was the face of the Los Angeles Lakers and one of the biggest names in the NBA during his 20-year career.
Sotheby’s is proud to offer the uniform worn by Bryant during this game, photo-matched by The MeiGray Group to January 21th, 2015.
Going Deeper | Kobe Bryant
Jerry West, the NBA logo man, longtime Lakers executive, and former Lakers guard, called Kobe Bryant’s pre-draft workout the best he had ever seen.
At only 17 years old, entering the draft from Lower Merion High School in Philadelphia, Kobe was NBA ready. However, with league-wide reservations about a guard entering the draft from high school, Kobe’s talent went somewhat unrecognized.
After the workout, in a pre-orchestrated move by the Lakers, Kobe was drafted with the 13th overall pick in 1996 by the Charlotte Hornets before being traded to Los Angeles shortly after.
A longtime Lakers fan, Kobe relished the opportunity to play in purple and gold, something he would do throughout the entirety of his career.
At 19 years old, Kobe began showing flashes of being a breakout star in the league. He became the youngest player to ever play in the NBA All-Star game, and his 1997-1998 season included a 33-point performance against the soon-to-be 6-time NBA champion Michael Jordan. Kobe and Jordan would continue to battle against each other until 2003 (Kobe scored 55 on Jordan in their final meeting).
In June of 1999, Phil Jackson was named the Lakers' head coach following the dismantling of the dynastic Chicago Bulls. Upon Jackson’s arrival, the Lakers hit their stride, finishing the 1999-2000 season with a NBA-best record of 67-15, and captured the first of three consecutive NBA championships.
The 2000 NBA Finals served as a coming-out party for Kobe, with a notable performance coming in Game 4. After missing the majority of Game 2 and all of Game 3 with an ankle injury, Kobe returned for Game 4 against the Indiana Pacers. With the Lakers leading 2-1 in the series, Game 4 was an opportunity for the Lakers to put their opponent in a 3-1 deficit, a hole no prior team had come back from in the NBA Finals.
With the game pushed to overtime, Kobe stepped into the spotlight after eventual Finals MVP Shaquille O’Neal fouled out.
With two jump shots and a reverse-putback layup in the late stages of the game, Kobe seemingly defined the type of player he was: a win at all costs, thrive under pressure type of player.
After three consecutive championships, Shaq and Kobe would eventually split in 2004. With Kobe firmly in the driver's seat of the Lakers offense, he quickly established himself as one of the premier scorers the game has ever seen.
Between 2005 and the end of his career, Kobe put on a plethora of jaw-dropping scoring displays: 62 points against the Mavericks, 81 points against the Raptors (2nd all-time in NBA history) 55 here, 60 there. It seemed that any night could provide NBA fans with a dominant performance – a scoring clinic.
Kobe won back-to-back scoring titles in 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 and achieved NBA League MVP honors in the 2007-2008 season, the only regular season MVP of his career. After being joined by Pau Gasol, Kobe led the Lakers to three consecutive NBA Finals appearances (2008, 2009, 2010) and two NBA championships (2009 and 2010), earning Finals MVP honors on both occasions.
Kobe ended his historic career with one last shining moment in 2016. In his final game in the NBA, a 37-year old Bryant willed the Lakers to a come-from-behind victory, scoring 60 points and hitting the game-winning shot in the process. The performance was surreal, the perfect bow on the gift that was watching Kobe play. A nod to the basketball greats, a demonstration of a love for the game, deep-rooted and palpable.
In 2021, Kobe Bryant was posthumously inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. The Lakers organization retired both numbers he wore during his career, 24 and 8.