A game-worn and autographed Bryant jersey from 1996-97 fetched nearly $3.7 million through Goldin Auctions. According to the listing, the jersey was photo-matched to seven of Bryant's games and a preseason photoshoot in which he took part:
Because of that, Goldin Auctions speculated this may have been one of the first Lakers jerseys Bryant ever wore.
The Lakers pulled off what proved to be one of the greatest trades in NBA history when they sent Vlade Divac to the Charlotte Hornets for Bryant, the No. 13 pick in the 1996 draft.
The Hall of Famer had a nondescript start to his career, averaging 7.6 points and 1.3 assists in 71 appearances, though he did win the 1997 Slam Dunk Contest:
Bryant's profile really started to rise in his second year, when he made the first of 18 All-Star appearances. Fans didn't know it at the time, but the 1998 All-Star Game proved to be a symbolic changing of the guard from Michael Jordan to Bryant:
Sunday's transaction is a testament to Bryant's enduring popularity well after his retirement in 2016 and following his untimely death in January 2020.