Earlier this week, GoldinAuctions.com teased an auction that it will be holding in June. What's for sale? Lots of stuff from Kobe Bryant's high school playing days, including game-worn jerseys, plaques, and championship rings. At least, those are the things the site planned on auctioning off, until it got a cease-and-desist letter from Bryant's attorney, insisting that Goldin Auctions is not the rightful owner of the memorabilia.
After receiving the cease-and-desist, the auction house filed suit against Bryant in a New Jersey court and is seeking to bar Bryant from interfering with the planned auction. Goldin Auctions' attorneys claim that the items were purchased fair and square from Bryant's mom, Pamela.
According to the lawsuit, Pamela Bryant approached Goldin Auctions and offered to sell them her son's old stuff, and the auction house agreed to pay her a $450,000 advance in exchange for the items. The suit alleges that Kobe ceded ownership of the items to his mother five years ago, and that she has been paying to keep them in storage for 15 years.
The whole thing is very strange, and it boils down to a he-said-she-said between Kobe and Pamela Bryant. According to the lawsuit, Pamela doesn't have any hard proof that she was the rightful owner of the items before selling them to Goldin Auctions other than her claims that she repeatedly asked Kobe and his wife if they wanted them back, and that Kobe once told her, "Here, these are for you."
So even though the auction house is the one that is suing Kobe Bryant, this is really a battle between mother and son. According to the lawsuit, Pamela wants that $450,000 so that she can buy a new house in Nevada, so this is her fight as much as it is the auction house's. And Kobe just wants his old stuff to continue gathering dust in a storage unit for reasons that remain mysterious. Probably because he is kind of a dick.