Sneakers Kobe Bryant gifted to LeBron James in high school fetch $156K at auction

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A pair of sneakers LeBron James wore in high school after receiving them as a gift from Kobe Bryant have fetched a tidy sum in a recently closed auction.
LeBron James standing on a stage: Jan 31, 2020; Lakers forward LeBron James speaks to the Staples Center crowd during a memorial tribute for longtime Laker guard Kobe Bryant. 
Lakers forward LeBron James speaks to the Staples Center crowd during a memorial tribute for longtime Laker guard Kobe Bryant. Heritage Auctions confirmed to Sports Illustrated in an email that the Kobe-gifted sneakers that the then-St. Vincent–St. Mary High School prep star donned in a 2002 game sold for $156,000 over the weekend.

The sneakers are a pair of ultra-rare adidas Kobe 2s, which were patriotic-themed kicks created to honor the victims of the 9/11 attacks. James interestingly wore the Kobe-gifted sneakers in a game against Carmelo Anthony’s Oak Hill Academy team and scored 36 points.

After James passed Bryant on the NBA’s all-time scoring list last season to land at No. 3 in league history, the Los Angeles Lakers star recalled the events surrounding the sneakers from nearly 20 years ago.

The sneakers predictably generated considerable interest in the auction market, which has been operating at a frenetic pace that has led to a mind-blowing amount of money exchanging hands over the past year or so.

Bryant’s death along with daughter Gianna and seven others in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif., on Jan. 26, 2020 unsurprisingly hit James especially hard, as the two developed a strong friendship over the years. James paid tribute to the late legend when the Lakers received their championship rings in December.

 

 

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