Uproar Over Kobe Bryant’s Father Selling Gifted Championship Ring Four Years After Son’s Death

UPDATE: Goldin Auctions reveals it was a new owner who was selling the Kobe Bryant championship ring. Bryant’s parents originally sold the ring in 2013 to the owner through Goldin. Original story below

The father of Kobe Bryant is facing backlash for selling the championship ring his son gifted him. The auction comes four years after Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven others tragically died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California.

Bryant created an extra copy of the 2000 Los Angeles Lakers championship ring for his dad, Joe “Jellybean” Bryant, who played eight seasons in the NBA with the Philadelphia 76ers, San Diego Clippers and Houston Rockets. It was the first of five championships Kobe Bryant won with the Lakers. The ring is now up for auction at Goldin, with bidding over $114,000.

Replica championship ring Kobe Bryant gave to his father
Replica championship ring Kobe Bryant gave to his father. (credit: Goldin)

“This exquisite ring features a total of 40 diamonds, including five larger round diamonds on either side of the face, which display ‘LAKERS’ filled with purple enamel. ‘WORLD CHAMPIONS’ reads in relief lettering,” the description lot on Goldin Auctions reads. “The NBA league logo centers on one side, with the name ‘BRYANT’ at the top and the number ‘8’ at the bottom. Also appearing are banners that reveal both the Laker’s regular season mark of 67-15 as well as their postseason win-loss record of 15-8. An image of a basketball hoop — with a diamond as a basketball — appears on the opposite side along with ‘BLING BLING’ and ‘2000.’ The inside of this ring is marked 14K. Obtained directly from the Bryant family, this ring is a true one-of-a-kind, and we can confirm that it is the only championship ring ever given by Kobe to his father.”

This isn’t the first time Kobe Bryant’s parents have sold their son’s memorabilia. According to the Los Angeles Times, Pamela Bryant sold a replica championship ring gifted to her for $206,000 in 2019.

Six years earlier in 2013, Joe and Pamela Bryant attempted to sell two 2000 Lakers championship rings, a signed basketball from the 2000 Lakers team, Kobe’s 1996 Lower Merion High School championship ring, high school sweat suits, and a surfboard he used as a child, before the NBA superstar filed a lawsuit against them.

“When u Give GIVE and they take Take TAKE at wat point do u draw a line in the sand?” Kobe tweeted at the time.

A settlement ended up being reached, allowing Bryant’s parents to auction six items for a total of $500,000. They also issued a public apology.

“We regret our actions and statements related to the Kobe Bryant auction memorabilia,” the statement reads, according to the LA Times. “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.”

Bryant and his wife, Vanessa, had a frosty relationship with his parents. They didn’t go to their wedding and they also didn’t attend Bryant’s final NBA game in 2016 where he put up 60 points. After Bryant donned his Lakers uniform for the last time, he told ESPN he hadn’t spoken to his parents in three years.

“Our relationship is s***. I say, ‘I’m going to buy you a very nice home,’ and the response is, ‘That’s not good enough?’ Then you’re selling my s—?”

In this latest auction, social media users are pilling on Joe Bryant for selling a memento his son gave to him.

Bidding for Kobe Bryant’s replica championship ring ends Saturday, March 30.

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