NEW YORK (AFP) – A Hollywood moment for National Basketball Association (NBA) legend Kobe Bryant proved a big draw in a Beverly Hills auction of sport memorabilia, his handprints in concrete selling for US$75,000 (S$106,800).
Julien’s Auctions said the handprints were tests that were made by Bryant in 2011, when he became the first athlete to leave his prints alongside those of some of Hollywood’s biggest stars in the forecourt of the Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard.
The item fetched more than 18 times its presale estimate of US$4,000-6,000.
Other highlights of the Julien’s auction included a full uniform worn by Bryant during the 1999-2000 NBA Finals and embroidered with an official NBA logo under a black band worn in remembrance of Wilt Chamberlain that sold for US$43,750 – more than four times its estimate of US$10,000.
Bryant, who won five NBA titles in a 20-year career with the Lakers, died in a helicopter crash in January that also claimed the life of his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others.
Memorabilia of his career is fetching jaw-dropping auction prices, with a Lakers championship ring that he gave his mother selling for US$201,250 at an auction run by New Jersey-based Goldin Auctions this week.
One of Bryant’s rookie cards sold for US$110,400 in the Goldin sale.
Bryant-related items realised US$202,590 at the Julien’s auction, where one 2006-07 season game-worn jersey sold for US$22,400.
While collectors are clearly hungry for something to remember Bryant by, the ESPN documentary “The Last Dance” has also fuelled desire for items related former Chicago Bulls great Michael Jordan.
A Jordan 1986-87 Fleer rookie trading card sold in the Goldin auction for US$99,630.
But the highest price in the opening session of the Goldin auction was for a signed rookie card for three-time American League Most Valuable Player Mike Trout, which fetched an astonishing US$922,500 on Wednesday (May 20).
The 2009 Trout card features the Los Angeles Angels superstar outfielder’s first autograph in a Major League Baseball uniform and is one of only five in existence.
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