Skip to content

Kobe Bryant, mother locked in court battle over memorabilia sale

May 3, 2013, 12:29 PM EDT

Portland Trail Blazers v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

Earlier this week we told you about plans by an auction house to sell off a bunch of Kobe Bryant’s memorabilia from high school — a Lower Merion game-worn jersey and more. Stuff the auction house got from Kobe’s mother.

But Kobe Bryant has gone to court to block this.

And you thought you’re relationship with your mother was strained.

The Associated Press has the details.

Bryant contends that his mother, Pamela Bryant, doesn’t have the right to sell the collectibles, including his Lower Merion High School letters, a 2000 NBA championship ring and hundreds of other items.

Berlin, N.J.-based Goldin Auctions says Bryant told his mother years ago that he didn’t want the items.

People, this is why you don’t leave things you want at your mother’s house. It’s just that in Kobe Bryant’s case he has to hire lawyers and pay them big bucks to keep his mom out of his stuff.

There has been long running friction between Bryant and his parents, stemming all the way back to when he married Vanessa.

By the way, Kobe’s mom isn’t auctioning this stuff off for charity, the court papers said she got a $450,000 advance from the auction house and was going to use that to put a down payment on a home.

  1. brutl - May 3, 2013 at 12:35 PM

    450 for a downpayment?

    Hope she has something else to sell when it’s time to pay the taxes..

    • fanofevilempire - May 3, 2013 at 2:19 PM

      maybe some stinky game worn sneaks that some rich geek will
      buy to smell the mamba toe jam.

    • badintent - May 3, 2013 at 11:17 PM

      someone give her Delonte West ‘s cell phone #.

  2. knowmewell85 - May 3, 2013 at 12:38 PM

    Wow, way to go Mrs. Bryant!

    • 2difshoe - May 3, 2013 at 5:49 PM

      Yea, she an Michael Jackson’s mom, Katherine, must be good friends.

  3. gotampabay52 - May 3, 2013 at 12:39 PM

    he still has a bedroom at his moms house set with all his trophies and why is his 2000 champ ring there oh yeah shaq was on that team

    • teehov843 - May 3, 2013 at 12:41 PM

      It’s a replica ring he had made for his mom.

      • somekat - May 4, 2013 at 11:23 AM

        if that’s true, why would she not have the right to sell it?

  4. loungefly74 - May 3, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    how sad. for everyone.

    • majorhavoc83 - May 3, 2013 at 3:32 PM

      Not quite “for everyone”. The auction house is the big winner even if the auction doesn’t happen. All this news has been free advertising for their services!

  5. 00maltliquor - May 3, 2013 at 1:02 PM

    Damn…this is a strange one. Sucks that Kobe has to go in hard on his mom like that, but sucks even more that she’s that scandalous. I don’t like this bit of news at all, all the way around. Kobe haters are gonna have a field day with this one….

    • mogogo1 - May 3, 2013 at 1:11 PM

      Two sides to every story. Not necessarily “scandalous.” She apparently needs some money and she still has possession of stuff of his from high school. If he wanted it, why didn’t he ever take possession in the last 15 years or so? (Kobe couldn’t afford a storage locker?) Seems to me a bigger man would just let her sell the stuff rather than drag his mother into court.

      • 00maltliquor - May 3, 2013 at 1:22 PM

        Yes and no. And there are 3 sides to every story: His, hers, and the truth.

        I feel it’s scandalous because she has her son saying, “no mom, please don’t pawn my sht”, yet she’s taking it anyways. I mean, high school letters? Like, circle yes or no letters? Like Kobe wants that kind of stuff out there!

        It ain’t like she’s broke, do you see that amount she’s trying to put on a down payment!? If she was hurting for money to survive common sense would be to get something where you could live within your means, no need to ball out and get a huge home/mansion.

        But yeah, taking your own mom to court is cray.

      • mogogo1 - May 3, 2013 at 2:34 PM

        Obviously plenty of bad blood. No doubt she’s selling it in part just to irritate him. It’d be worth it in terms of his PR to just give her $450K for the stuff. Also somewhat amazing that Kobe’s mom needs to buy a house for herself. And has anybody ever gotten along with Kobe’s wife? Seems like every beef Kobe ever has with anybody ties back to her.

      • mytthor - May 3, 2013 at 6:43 PM

        He offered her a quarter million dollars and she said it’s not enough. And the stuff WAS all in a storage locker. I think it’s kept next to your clue.

      • mogogo1 - May 3, 2013 at 7:49 PM

        Wow, an internet tough guy. You’re really cool.

      • kavika6 - May 4, 2013 at 3:04 AM

        “Like, circle yes or no letters?”

        Are you being sarcastic or don’t you know what a high school letter is?

    • ezwriter69 - May 3, 2013 at 1:31 PM

      Scandalous that a guy worth half a billion won’t just buy his mom a house… course, with the tens of millions he spends on Vanessa’s jewelry, maybe he’s broke too. You can tell he grew up with money and privilege, unlike most of the guys in the league, who buy their mom a house with their first bonus. Kobe haters will have a field day with this one because it makes him look like a complete self-absorbed ungrateful bleephole… oh wait a minute, he is one.

    • margegundersonbrainerd - May 3, 2013 at 10:25 PM

      @00maltliquor: While your description of “high school letters” brings back hilariously painful memories, in this story I’m fairly sure it refers to the fuzzy ones athletes earned in various high school sports, especially since it described them as letters from his specific school.

  6. moseskkim - May 3, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    Seriously sad.. It’s family so it’s gotta be dang complicated. Unless his stuff has sentimental value, it’s your mom.. Let her sell some stuff.

  7. ron05342 - May 3, 2013 at 1:19 PM

    It’s interesting, sounds like his parents are split up, did not know that.

  8. patfic15 - May 3, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    Mom doesn’t like the fake tough guy either.

  9. floridascuba1 - May 3, 2013 at 1:34 PM

    Simple. Just outbid to get your stuff back.

    • thatboi901 - May 3, 2013 at 2:35 PM

      Why should he have to buy something he already owns? Essentially is being robbed because he is rich . It would be different if she needed the money but she put a 450k down payment on a house. Most people don’t even own homes worth 450k.

      • mazblast - May 3, 2013 at 3:48 PM

        The rule of “adverse possession” may come into play here. If you leave possessions in someone else’s custody for long enough, they have the right to do with it what they want. It’s not yours anymore. The law varies from state to state and possibly by type of item, so I can’t be sure in this case, but it sounds like it applies.

        KoMe left “his” belongings with his momma for over 15 years, he obviously really doesn’t care that much about them. Then again, it’s well established that KoMe doesn’t much care about anyone or anything else besides his immediate gratification.

        The smart thing for KoMe to do would be to have someone outbid anyone else for the items he really “wants”, but like the spoiled brat he often is (at his age!), he’s making a big deal out of it, trying to establish the Rule of KoMe–“I get what I want, when I want, because I want it and because I am The Great KoMe.”

      • asimonetti88 - May 3, 2013 at 4:32 PM

        I like how you had to qualify that his letterman’s jacket and All-Star Game rings are only “his” with quotations. Whose is it then?

      • mazblast - May 4, 2013 at 12:48 AM

        asimonetti88–refer to my post. Once you abandon something and it is in someone else’s possession, particularly when you know it is in that person’s possession and make no effort to secure it for yourself, it is THEIRS. These items date back to his high school days and have been in his mother’s possession for a long time. They are not his anymore, they are hers.

    • mogogo1 - May 3, 2013 at 2:37 PM

      Or just hire somebody to go buy the stuff. It’d end up being less than he’ll pay the lawyers and he’d have avoided headlines of “Kobe sues mom.” Excessive pride leads people to do some really dumb things.

  10. jbcarruth - May 3, 2013 at 1:43 PM

    Reblogged this on JBCarruth and commented:
    You mean you didn’t get in a multi-million dollar court battle with your mom when she cleaned out your old room?

  11. justlife4me - May 3, 2013 at 1:55 PM

    I think It is sad that mother and son engaged in a legal battle over cash, if Pam didn’t ask Kobe for the money to get that house is either that he is so cheap that wouldn’t give her the $$ or Vanessa doesn’t allow him to give his momma money to buy a house? got Pam’s bio here She is a very attractive lady

  12. misterdreamer119 - May 3, 2013 at 1:56 PM

    Hes gonna crack on her during his hall of fame speech.

  13. zblott - May 3, 2013 at 2:10 PM

    Any women close to him he hasn’t pissed off? In all seriousness, does Kobe have anyone close to him in his life? I remember the jokes about him being the oldest person with no friends, but if your own mother who already lived the life of an NBA wife (and her brother was an NBA player) has issues with you, sheesh.

    • mogogo1 - May 3, 2013 at 2:39 PM

      Gotta agree with you. And is their anybody in Kobe’s life that Vanessa hasn’t had troubles with? Family, teammates, she doesn’t get along with anybody.

      • zblott - May 3, 2013 at 4:27 PM

        They got engaged right after she turned 18 and was still in high school, just 6 months after they met while he was working on his debut album; this sounds like a joke, but it’s really not. I’d say the fact they’re still technically together is nothing short of an image-conscious miracle. You’re right, though, she just seems like an impossible person to deal with.

  14. flyrocket31 - May 3, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    kobe makes over 25 mil a year just in the NBA(which is ridiculous) and not even endorsements, why would she need to sell that stuff?

    • fanofevilempire - May 3, 2013 at 2:21 PM

      Kobe makes 25 mil not his mom.

  15. decimusprime - May 3, 2013 at 2:32 PM

    I’m pretty sure the H.S. letters are the athlete letters earned from playing sports…for a Letterman Jacket. Not love notes. Although I bet love notes from Mamba would be worth more.

  16. happster - May 3, 2013 at 2:58 PM

    What kind of dirtbag would make millions upon millions and leave his parents unable to afford a house? The same kind of dirtbag that nobody wants to play basketball with.

    • mytthor - May 3, 2013 at 6:45 PM

      Get a clue. His dad was in the NBA for years and played overseas, if they can’t afford a house it’s their fault. And Kobe offered her 250k for a house, she said it wasn’t enough.

      • mogogo1 - May 3, 2013 at 7:54 PM

        $250K doesn’t buy all that much house most places these days. Hard to believe he couldn’t have pulled anything of real personal value from this collection, sold the rest and still netted her more than that amount. Mom may be greedy, but it sounds like the son and daughter-in-law are just as bad if not worse.

      • mytthor - May 4, 2013 at 2:09 AM

        How is it greedy to keep your own money? It’s not hers, she’s not entitled to it. A quarter million dollars gets offered to you and you say “screw that, I’m just going to auction off some of your stuff if you’re going to lowball me like that.” I know people are Kobe haters, but get a grip.

  17. stayhigh_247 - May 3, 2013 at 3:01 PM

    how bad is their relationship that mom has to hawk jerseys to buy a house? the price of fame is too much at times. All the money in the world can’t replace a good relationship with your family

    • mogogo1 - May 3, 2013 at 3:59 PM

      I remember how big a jerk I was to my parents at 17. I had all the answers, they were stupid, etc. Then you mature a bit and discover they weren’t as dumb as you thought and you weren’t nearly as smart. But for a guy like Kobe, I don’t know if that ever happens: He became rich instantly, surrounded himself with people telling him he could do no wrong. Maybe the parents had more designs on his money than the should have… Plenty can go wrong for the people who seem to have everything going for them.

      • badintent - May 3, 2013 at 11:21 PM

        Kobe bought his dad a job when his dad was flat broke. His dad’s way of thanking him was to not go to Kobe’s wedding.Everyone know if it was a racist decision or he thought she was a gold digger ?

  18. sailbum7 - May 3, 2013 at 4:13 PM

    With all of the money he has, you know that this is personal, not about the money or value of the items. It sounds like things must be pretty bad between Kobe and his mom of he is going to the point of getting lawyers involved. Unfortunately for him, she will probably win. Unless they had some prior agreement, he has left the stuff in her possession for so long that he has likely released all legal claim to the items through a legal doctrine called adverse possession.

  19. allgernon - May 3, 2013 at 4:22 PM

    He makes that much money every couple days. What a jerk!

  20. sportsnut101 - May 3, 2013 at 4:44 PM

    So this where Kobe gets the I’m a hole attitude. Moms lol

    If he said that yrs ago. Why did u wait so long to sell it.

    U would think the auction house would contact Kobe to make sure. If its a high standard auction house

    How is mom affording lawyer fees lol. Kobe got his lawyers

    How will mom afford to pay for the house After the down payment Kobe cut her off ha. Mom is a loser for doing this I’m sure Kobe would buy parents a house no problem. Sheesh he gave wife 3 houses in divorce well almost divorce

  21. raid2055 - May 3, 2013 at 6:28 PM

    What I really don’t like is everyone thinking that Kobe should have to support his mom at this stage in her life. Most of these professional athletes have supported more than their share of relatives. I live in Houston and Vince Young has gone broke trying to support all of his family. It is a shame she is willing to part with all the stuff her son have earned on the court. That should be her trophy showing she helped him earn those items. And the last thing, why people think since the athlete is rich and living well all of the family should be doing the same. Now I understand that is his mom. I am more than sure she has benefited from his riches over a 17 year period, but he owes his mother nothing at this point. She needs to get over the Vanessa thing, and respect his choice of a mate. And lastly, Kobe has help both of his parents. He got his dad a job as the coach of the Sparks at one point and I am sure that was a large contract for his mom Pam to benefit from. She needs to leave him alone.

    • mogogo1 - May 3, 2013 at 8:02 PM

      Well, the $300,000 birthday parties for himself also played a part in Vince Young going broke. So, I’m not quite ready to issue a halo to the guy.

      It isn’t so much a matter that Kobe should HAVE to support his mother, it’s that you’d think he would WANT to support her. And he doesn’t get along with his dad, either. He’s a guy who seems to be on the outs with most everybody who you’d expect to be close to him.

      • badintent - May 3, 2013 at 8:30 PM

        Ah yes , Vince’s parties. Thank you for reminding all of us. And thanks to Vince for being the Houston poster boy for stupidity. Son, buy some oil fields next time. Fracking is better than being broke..Vince.. heading to the Cash Flow Low football league.

    • somekat - May 4, 2013 at 11:33 AM

      There is also a difference in supporting your mom/dad, than supporting your mom/dad, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, cousins, half cousins close family friends, etc etc

      Oh, and get your uncle with no experience to “manage” your money

  22. philliephaninva - May 3, 2013 at 8:44 PM

    Sounds like mom needs to have a retroactive abortion.

  23. doclolly - May 3, 2013 at 10:13 PM

    Really Kobe? you can’t just give your mother a 1-2 games salary which probably could cover the entire auction.

  24. tigerwoo4 - May 3, 2013 at 11:24 PM

    The public looking into anyones life choices just do not know what that family dynamic is…. especially between a mother and son… the relationship can be everything from no contact to mommas boy x2…. kobe is rich and can totally afford to assist his mom financially… I bet there is a very good reason he is where he is upon hiring legal counsel to intervene. This wurl is a trip.

  25. tstreet - May 4, 2013 at 1:19 AM

    I am a Kobe fan. I wish I had money to help out my parents. Even if my parents and I had the worst relationship, I would still buy them the house of their dreams and the cars they want. Give them enough money to retire on and then move on with my life.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. D. Rose (3020)
  2. K. Irving (2438)
  3. A. Davis (2065)
  4. K. Bryant (1705)
  5. L. James (1616)
  1. K. Durant (1478)
  2. T. Thompson (1450)
  3. B. Jennings (1363)
  4. A. Aminu (1342)
  5. M. Leonard (1303)