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Lakers' Kobe Bryant in a legal battle with his mother

Pamela Bryant is seeking to auction off memorabilia from Kobe's high school days and early NBA career. The Lakers star is trying to prevent her from doing so.

May 04, 2013|By Mike Bresnahan, Los Angeles Times
  • Lakers guard Kobe Bryant's mother, Pamela Bryant, is seeking to auction off memorabilia from Kobe's high school days and early NBA career.
Lakers guard Kobe Bryant's mother, Pamela Bryant, is seeking to auction… (Associated Press / Goldin…)

Kobe Bryant is locked in a court battle with his mother because she is trying to auction off his old Lakers and high school memorabilia.

Pamela Bryant was given $450,000 up front by Goldin Auctions, a New Jersey auction house, so it could sell mementos from Kobe's days at Lower Merion High in Ardmore, Pa., and in his early seasons with the Lakers.

She planned to use the advance to help purchase a home in Nevada.

Goldin Auctions announced plans Tuesday for an auction in June of what its website calls "the bryant collection." Kobe Bryant's attorneys sent a cease-and-desist letter to the auction house the same day.

Goldin Auctions then filed suit Thursday in U.S. District Court in New Jersey for the right to proceed with the sale.

Mother and son allegedly talked about the items five years ago, according to lawyers for Goldin Auctions.

"Kobe Bryant indicated to Pamela Bryant that the items belonged to her and that he had no interest in them," the lawyers wrote in court documents, adding that Pamela was spending $1,500 a month to store the items.

There are about 900 items totaling more than $1.5 million in value, according to the auction house, including two championship rings that Bryant gave his parents after the Lakers won the 2000 title, a signed basketball from that team, his 1996 Pennsylvania high school championship ring and sweat suits he wore at Lower Merion, as well as high school jerseys with the numbers 24 and 33 and various trophies.

Bryant's family lived in the Philadelphia area because his father, Joe "Jellybean" Bryant, 58, once played for the 76ers.

"Mr. Bryant's personal property has ended up in the possession of someone who does not lawfully own it," said Kobe Bryant's attorney, Mark Campbell. "We look forward to resolving this legal matter through the legal system."

Goldin Auctions sold a rare Honus Wagner baseball card earlier this year for $2.1 million.

mike.bresnahan@latimes.com

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