The Los Angeles Lakers are among the most storied franchises in the NBA. The franchise was formed in 1947, a year after the inaugural season of the NBA. Over the course of time, the Lakers have won 17 NBA Championships and are tied with Boston Celtics for the same. The Purple and Gold have had various Hall of Famers play for them, including Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, and 25 others.
Five of the last six Lakers championships have had Kobe Bryant’s name on them. The Black Mamba is one of the greatest players in franchise history. He played his entire 20-season NBA career with the Lakers. Upon retirement, the Purple and Gold honored him by retiring both his #8 and #24 jerseys.
In January 2020, Kobe passed away in a tragic helicopter crash. It was a dark day for the entire basketball community. A day after his demise, ABC released a special episode where they shared an exclusive interview.
Kobe Bryant always dreamt of being a Laker
Playing 20 seasons with a single franchise is no small feat. Dirk Nowitzki spent 21 years with the Mavericks, Kobe did 20 with the Lakers, and Tim Duncan had 19 years with the Spurs. In the current day NBA, it is hard to imagine any player doing so. The closest we have is Stephen Curry playing his 14th season with the Warriors.
In the interview, Kobe was asked how important 20 years with the Lakers was to him. Bryant replied and said,
“Extremely. It means everything to me. I was such a huge Lakers fan growing up, like a die-hard Laker fan. I had Magic[Johnson] posters, Magic t-shirts, had all the cassettes of them winning championships. It was my dream to be a Los Angeles Laker. To be here for 20 years and to get to know some of my mentors, it was a dream come true.”
The Mamba spent his entire career bringing glory to the storied franchise. Whenever his name is taken, people imagine him in the Golden Lakers jersey.
A Kobe game-worn jersey is set to be auctioned for as high as $7 Million
An autographed Kobe Bryant jersey, worn up to 25 times during his 2007-08 MVP season, is up for auction. It is the same jersey he’d worn in Game 2 of the 1st round of the 2008 Playoffs.
JUST IN: @Sothebys is auctioning off Kobe’s game-used jersey from Game 2 of the 1st round of the Western Conference Finals.
Why is it so special?
It’s the one he famously “popped” after hitting a huge shot.
Sotheby’s estimates the jersey to be worth $6-8M. Auction closes 2/9. pic.twitter.com/fcSeduP148
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) January 12, 2023
It is expected to fetch anywhere between $5-7 Million. Because of the cultural significance of the same, it might even get more. The most any game-worn jersey has gotten in an auction is Michael Jordan’s ‘Last Dance’ jersey, which fetched $10.1 Million. It would be worth seeing if Kobe can break MJ’s record.