Kobe Bryant's game-worn rookie Lakers jersey could go for $5M at auction

Another piece of Kobe Bryant memorabilia could sell for millions at auction.

Bryant's No. 8 Los Angeles Lakers jersey worn by the late superstar at home games during his 1996-97 rookie season is featured in the SCP Auctions' 2022 Spring Premier set that runs through June 4. It is the only known jersey ever photo-matched from his rookie year, SCP Auctions said in an email release.

The auction site estimates it to sell for anywhere between $3-5 million. CEO/President David Kohler confirmed that $5 million mark to TMZ Sports. The jersey is gold with purple trim and has two patches at the bottom for the Lakers and the Champion size.

Bryant's jersey matched to 1997 playoffs

Jerry West, GM, Kobe Bryant and Head Coach Del Harris (Photo by Steve Grayson/WireImage)
Lakers general manager Jerry West, Kobe Bryant and Head Coach Del Harris introduce the rookie in 1996. Bryant's game-worn jersey is up for auction. (Steve Grayson/WireImage) (Steve Grayson via Getty Images)

Experts matched the uniform to five games, including two playoff games, when Bryant was a rookie. SPC Auctions said it was matched to Games 3 and 4 of the Western Conference semifinals games with the Utah Jazz on May 8 and 10, 1997.

"All three authenticators conclusively photomatched the purple and gold threads to these two games," SCP Auctions said in a release.

The Lakers won Game 3 and lost Game 4. They lost the series in five games. It was Bryant's first ever playoffs appearances. He was a part of 16 playoff runs and won five NBA championships.

The jerseys were also photomatched to regular-season games on April 13 and April 17.

"Most experts agree that the jersey was worn during the end of Bryant’s rookie season, as well as in all home playoff games that year," SCP Auctions said.

A signed Bryant jersey from the same season sold last year for $3.69 million, a record for a basketball jersey. The record for a jersey is Babe Ruth's game-worn New York Yankees jersey from 1920 sold for $4,415,658 in 2012.

Bryant, James, Jordan in auction

The auction also features Bryant's game-work Adidas sneakers from his rookie year. There's also a signed and "highly sought-after PMG," a Mint 9 autograph card that his the "first and only known example ever offered publicly," the auction house said.

"It could very well be the only one that exists, period," the auction house said. It could very well be the only one that exists, period. "This is a scarcer card than even his unsigned green PMG graded BGS NM-MT+ that sold for $2 million in February."

The auction includes a game-used Kobe and Michael Jordan dual-auto-card, a Tom Brady rookie refractor, a 1986 Fleer Jordan card and a Joe Burrow rookie card. Bryant's 2004 autographed NBA All-Star shoes, LeBron James' Lakers photomatched shoes for two games in 2021-22 and a pair of Giannis Antetokounmpo sneakers from the 2020-21 championship campaign are in the auction.