Smile time for Bean. (Steve Granitz/WireImage)
Kobe Bryant reached a settlement with New Jersey-based Goldin Auctions to allow several items from his storied basketball career to be put up for bidding in an auction slated to begin June 17, according to ESPN.com's Darren Rovell. The lot originally included more than 100 items of the Los Angeles Lakers star's memorabilia, including rare game-worn jerseys, high school trophies and awards, NBA championship mementos and even the surfboard he won at the 1999 Nickelodeon Teen Choice Awards. Now, it will include just six.
The settlement ends a lawsuit between Bryant and auctioneer Kenneth Goldin that was set to go to trial next week. The legal wrangling began last month after Goldin began publicizing an auction of the 15-time All-Star's wares, which were provided to him by Bryant's mother, Pamela.
Goldin expected the collected Kobe swag to net about $1.5 million at auction. In exchange for the stuff, he gave Pamela Bryant a $450,000 advance that she reportedly intended to put toward the purchase of a new home in Nevada — a sum her son had reportedly refused to give her himself, leading her to look toward the boxes of his stuff that had been laying around in her home for years.
Kobe sent Goldin a cease-and-desist letter. Goldin responded by filing suit to allow the auction to continue as planned. Kobe responded with a temporary restraining order against the auction house and filings claiming he'd never given his mother permission to sell his stuff. And now, after several weeks of back-and-forth, it's all over — and your folks say they're real sorry about the whole rigamarole, Kobe. More from Rovell:
Bryant's parents, who had contracted with Goldin to sell the items, apologized in a written statement.
"We regret our actions and statements related to the Kobe Bryant auction memorabilia," Joe and Pamela Bryant said in the statement provided by a publicist. "We apologize for any misunderstanding and unintended pain we have caused our son and appreciate the financial support he has provided over the years. We also apologize to Goldin Auctions for their inadvertent involvement in this matter and thank them for their assistance." [...]
While Goldin said he wasn't free to divulge the terms of the settlement, what is clear is that approximately 90 percent of what previously was being offered has been pulled off the table, though the remaining ones are some of the most highly coveted items.
Those items include two of Bryant's uniforms from his time at Lower Merion High School in Pennsylvania, a medallion and ribbon from Magic's Roundball Classic, a high school all-star game in which Bryant participated, two NBA championship rings that Bryant's parents received as gifts celebrating the Lakers' 2000 title, and Bryant's 2000 NBA All-Star ring. For some items, including the NBA All-Star ring, 50 percent of the winning bid will go to charity, Goldin told Rovell.
While he won't be able to auction the lion's share of the items Pamela Bryant initially offered, Goldin seemed pleased with the resolution, saying he expects the remaining items to sell for six figures each and for the full lot to net at least $500,000.
"We are very happy it settled and we are happy with the items," Goldin told David Porter of The Associated Press. "If I'd looked at the list from the beginning and picked nine items I wanted to get my hands on, I've got five of them."
Kobe Bryant declined comment on the settlement, according to ESPN and the AP. Probably too busy waxing his 'board.
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