Kobe Bryant Rookie Card BGS Pristine Black Label 10 Sells for $1.79M at Auction

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMarch 7, 2021

FILE - In this Monday, Feb. 5, 2018, file photo, Kobe Bryant arrives at the 90th Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon at The Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. Peyton Manning will be doing some analysis of NFL games this season after all. ESPN and Kobe Bryant’s Granity Studios announced on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018, that Manning will be part of a football edition of the “Detail” franchise. The eight-episode series will be on the ESPN+ streaming service and debuts on Thursday, Oct. 18. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
Jordan Strauss/Associated Press

A Kobe Bryant 1996-97 Topps Chrome Refractors rookie card sold for $1.79 million at an online auction late Saturday, per Darren Rovell of Action Network.

Goldin Auctions was the home for this auction. The bidding started at $250,000 and ended with the item selling as the 10th-most expensive sports trading card in history, per Rovell.

It also stands as the fourth-most expensive basketball trading card. A Mickey Mantle 1952 Topps card sold for $5.2 million stands as the all-time record.

Goldin provided a description of the Kobe rookie card:

"Graded PRISTINE/Black Label 10 by BGS. Hall of Famer, in a universally and fervently pursued Rookie Card appearance. The card's BGS condition report: Centering 10, Corners 10, Edges 10, Surface 10; its run of perfect scores qualifies the item for prestigious "Black Label" recognition. A bright and thoroughly lovely Kobe Bryant collectible—and a wondrous spectacle—in Black Label Pristine condition."

The card jumped a Michael Jordan 1997 autographed jersey card ($1.4 million) for No. 10, per Rovell.

Bryant's 20-year NBA career, which he spent entirely with the Los Angeles Lakers, included five NBA championships, two NBA Finals MVP honors, 18 All-Star Game nods and the 2007-08 NBA MVP award.

The two-time scoring champion was also named to the All-NBA first team 11 times.


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