Something tells me Pamela Bryant isn’t going to get a Mother’s Day gift this year.
Much to son Kobe Bryant’s dismay, she has spent more than $75,000 to store and insure the NBA< star's old sports memorabilia, and she intends to cash in on it through an auction this summer. Although her $75,000 storage unit price tag (50 months at a whopping rate of $1,500 a month) will raise some eyebrows, Pamela already has received a $450,000 consignment advance from an auction house. On April 30, New Jersey-based Goldin Auctions issued a news release advertising 900 Kobe Bryant items worth more than $1.5 million to be sold at auction. According to ESPN business reporter Darren Rovell, the Bryant Collection may go for much more than $1.5 million; however, it’s difficult to say for sure, as there’s no precedent for some of these items, such as Kobe’s jerseys from Lower Merion High School in Ardmore, PA.
After Goldin Auctions’ news release came out, Kobe’s attorney Mark Campbell sent a cease-and-desist letter, asking Kenneth Goldin to cancel the auction. Two days later, Goldin responded by filing for injunctive relief. Kobe countersued Goldin Auctions on May 9, and a hearing is scheduled for Monday, May 13. Goldin hopes a judge will determine that the possessions do, in fact, belong to Pamela Bryant.
According to court papers, Pamela claims she offered the items to Kobe and wife Vanessa years ago, but neither wanted them.
To put it mildly, Kobe never has been a model family man. He’s admitted to adultery, been accused of sexual assault, and been entangled in estranged relationships with his parents and wife. Neither of his parents attended his wedding.
Kobe’s parents live in Thailand, where his father, Joe Bryant, former head basketball coach at La Salle University and an ex-Philadelphia 76er, coaches a basketball team.
What the in-court but off-the-basketball-court battle boils down to is this: The storage unit has been rented by Pamela Bryant for years, but will that bolster her argument that she’s the rightful owner of the memorabilia? Stay tuned.