NJ auctioneer: Pact struck, 6 Bryant items on sale

Photo Credit: Courtesy Wiki Commons
Photo Credit: Courtesy Wiki Commons

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Kobe Bryant settled a legal dispute with a New Jersey auction house over whether his mother was authorized to sell memorabilia, allowing six items from his high school days and early NBA career to be offered for sale beginning next week.

Kenneth Goldin, founder of southern New Jersey-based Goldin Auctions, said Monday that his company and Bryant recently reached the settlement. Through a publicist, an attorney for Bryant confirmed the settlement.

Citing a confidentiality agreement, Goldin wouldn’t discuss details of the settlement beyond which items will be auctioned, including two uniforms worn by Bryant at Lower Merion High School outside Philadelphia and two 2000 NBA championship rings Bryant gave to his parents.

Goldin Auctions sued in federal court last month after Bryant’s lawyers wrote the company telling it to cancel a planned auction of close to 100 items. The Los Angeles Lakers star claimed his mother, Pamela, didn’t have the right to sell the items. Bryant also filed suit against the auction company in California. A trial had been scheduled to begin next week.

Under the settlement, Goldin also will sell Bryant’s 2000 NBA All-Star game ring and his medallion and ribbon from Magic’s Roundball Classic, a high school all-star game.

“We are very happy it settled and we are happy with the items,” Goldin said. “If I’d looked at the list from the beginning and picked nine items I wanted to get my hands on, I’ve got five of them.”

Goldin said auction prices can be difficult to predict but that he thinks the high school uniforms and the All-Star Game ring will fetch the highest prices. He expects the items to go for $100,000 to $250,000 each. The auction is scheduled to run from June 17 to July 19

Bryant jumped from high school straight to the NBA in 1996 and has won five championships with the Lakers, most recently in 2010. His father, Joe, played eight seasons in the NBA with Philadelphia, San Diego and Houston.

In an emailed statement, Bryant’s parents wrote: “We regret our actions and statements related to the Kobe Bryant auction memorabilia. We apologize for any misunderstanding and unintended pain we may have caused our son and appreciate the financial support that he has provided to us over the years. We also would like to apologize to Goldin Auctions for their inadvertent involvement in this matter and thank them for their assistance.”

The settlement was first reported by ESPN.com.

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