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LeBron James Dunk Paying Homage to Kobe Bryant Sells for Record $386K on NBA Top Shot

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVApril 16, 2021

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 15: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers goes up for a slam dunk against the Golden State Warriors during the first half of an NBA basketball game at Chase Center on March 15, 2021 in San Francisco, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

An NBA Top Shot moment of LeBron James commemorating a dunk by Kobe Bryant during a February 2020 game has sold for $387,600 at auction.

Chris Bumbaca of USA Today reported Friday the Heritage Auctions sale represents a record for a release from NBA Top Shot, a platform that features digital highlights as non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Bryant died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26, 2020. Last than two weeks later, James threw down a dunk similar to one the Lakers legend delivered at Staples Center 19 years earlier:

Los Angeles Lakers @Lakers

Same arena. Same basket. Same dunk. 19 years apart. ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’› pic.twitter.com/fj7HRmqv3c

The four-time NBA MVP explained afterward he didn't plan on the tribute until he found himself alone on a fast break.

"I didn't really predetermine that either until I jumped," James told reporters. "I just jumped and kind of figured it out, and then...it's crazy how it's the same exact dunk, the same exact hoop that Kobe did [it on]   what, 19 years ago or something like that? That was nice."

He added: "Ever see the movie The 6th Man? Kobe came down, put himself in my body and gave me that dunk on that break."

There are only 59 mints of the LeBron-Kobe NBA Top Shot dunk in circulation, with the one being sold at auction listed as No. 3 from the limited-edition release, per Bumbaca.

NBA Top Shot helped spark the recent NFT craze, which is an offshoot of the rise in sports memorabilia boom that's happened throughout the coronavirus pandemic.