A piece of hardwood from the floor of Kobe Bryant’s historic last game was sold to a collector for $631K in an auction Saturday, more than eight months after the NBA star’s tra-gic loss in a helicopter cr-ash.
The sale was made in a Heritage Auctions event, TMZ reported. The unique piece of memorabilia was c-ut from the Staples Center floor with Bryant’s first basketball number, eight.
In the April 13, 2016 game, Bryant ended his NBA career in dom!nating fashion, scoring 60 points in the Lakers’ 101-96 victory aga!nst the Utah Jazz.
Bidding, which began September 4, was expected to be in the range of $500,000, but soared northwards of the half-million-dollar estimate, according to the outlet.
The consignor was set to donate 10 percent to the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation, a youth sports nonprofit that was set up following the January 26 helicopter cra-sh in Calabasas, California in which Bryant, his daughter Gianna ‘GiGi’ Bryant, and seven others tra-gically per!shed.
Also k!lled in the cra-sh was basketball coach Christina Mauser; John Altobelli, a baseball coach for Orange Coast College, with his wife Keri and their daughter Alyssa; and Sarah Chester and daughter Payton (one of Gianna’s basketball teammates, along with Alyssa).
The group was headed from Orange County to Kobe’s Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks. Announcement of the sale came as Bryant’s Lakers were in the NBA Finals aga!nst the Miami Heat, with players on both teams paying hom*ge to the late NBA superstar, who won five championships in purple and gold.
The Lakers have worn patches with KB on their jerseys as well as the number two, which Gianna played in. Lakers guard Danny Green told the AP: ‘It’s hard not to think about him, whether you’re a part of this organization or not He’s always going to impact the game and have a presence, especially for us … he was one of those pioneers that were amazingly great in everything he did on and off the floor.’
The team has also played in jerseys Bryant designed bearing his nickname, Black Mamba, with Lakers star Anthony Davis saying, ‘We never want to lose in these jerseys.’ Heat star Bam Adebayo said of the memorials: ‘They’ve got something special that they want to do.
You can’t deny that. It’s not sho-cking that he passes away and that becomes their motivation to win the NBA championship and be in the finals. It’s not weird at all. ‘I want to win and do it for Kobe too … so I understand.’ Adebayo added, ‘It still doesn’t feel real to this day, but you see the effe-ct that he had on the world.’
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