LeBron James' Game-Worn HS Sneakers Gifted by Kobe Bryant Up for Auction

Blake SchusterSenior Analyst IIFebruary 11, 2021

FILE - In this March 10, 2016 file photo, Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant, left, and Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James wait for play to resume during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles. For months, the Cavaliers' megastar has lived slightly under the radar, if that's even possible for one of the world's most famous and recognizable athletes. While Stephen Curry rained 3-pointers as the new face of the NBA, the Golden State Warriors hunted down history and Kobe Bryant took his final bows, James remained in the background awaiting his turn. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok, File)
Danny Moloshok/Associated Press

A rare pair of Adidas sneakers Kobe Bryant gave a then-high school star named LeBron James in 2002 are going up for sale via Heritage Auctions.   

According to James, Bryant was one size smaller than him, but that didn't stop him from wearing them the following night in a showdown against Oak Hill Academy and Carmelo Anthony. James scored 36 points in a loss while donning the red-white-and-blue sneakers.

"I think my most fond moment is he gave me his shoes when I was in high school," James told Dave McMenamin in 2016. "I think I was playing in a tournament in Teaneck, New Jersey, and they were playing in the [2002] All-Star game in Philly. And I had an opportunity to go meet him, and he gave me a pair of his shoes, and I actually wore them in a game against Oak Hill, against Melo [Carmelo Anthony], actually. So, six degrees of separation right there."

Per Heritage Auctions:

"The patriotic colorway displays the Stars & Stripes on the uppers, rubberized toe boxes, three-stripe motif on the midsoles/outer soles, Adidas on the inner tongues, and the Mamba silhouette on the insoles. The design was created to commemorate the loss of life in the recent 9/11 terror attacks. The custom shoes bear no interior tagging but exhibit fine game wear.

"Our consignor purchased these, and several other LeBron James items in this auction, from an estate sale in Akron, Ohio. Letter of provenance from consignor. LOA from Heritage Auctions."

Bidding opened at $15,000 and will run through Feb. 27.