The current bid for it stands as $200,000.
Sixteen years ago, the late Kobe Bryant scored a monumental 81 points against the Toronto Raptors, the second highest single-game point total for a player at the NBA. Only Wilt Chamberlain scored more—a whopping 100 versus the New York Knicks in 1962.
Sotheby’s is honoring that historic game by offering Bryant’s Los Angeles Lakers shooting shirt in a single lot, online auction. According to the House, no worn memorabilia of the athlete from that 2006 game has been offered at a public sale.
Accompanying the shirt is a one-of-one NFT designed by Karvin Cheung. He is CEO of The Infinite cards and creator of Upper Deck Exquisite Collection Basketball, which are among the most valuable sports trading cards in the world.
“The NFT incorporates inspiration from Cheung’s Chinese heritage, and plays on the significance of the number 8 in Chinese culture, as well as the importance of the Lucky Envelope.
“The red and gold color pattern is inspired by the Lucky Envelope. Lucky Envelopes are a tradition with any celebration including birthdays, marriages, or the birth of a child,” Cheung explains. “It’s universal amongst all Chinese people for the Chinese New Year. The 8 represents fortune (prosper) thus it’s a reason why many people want the number to be part of their everyday life.”
These two concepts intertwine in the NFT, which plays on these themes as well as Cheung’s new company—The Infinite—logo and of course the number 81.
This NFT is Cheung’s first, part of a planned series of offerings of his designs. For the first time for sports memorabilia, Sotheby’s will accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment in this auction. This is also first time Sotheby’s has paired sports memorabilia with an accompanying NFT.
The lot’s description states that, based on photo-matching efforts, the shirt was worn during at least six game days. Bryant’s shoes from that game were posted on Instagram in 2015 by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
The current bid for this single lot is at $200,000. Lot closes on February 23, 2022 at 5:01 A.M. PST. For more information, visit Sothebys.com.
Banner Photo from @Sothebys on IG