When LeBron James was a junior in high school, he received a pair of sneakers from Kobe Bryant. Those kicks have now gone under the hammer.
James was by far the most-hyped high school prospect of all time. He was tipped to be the no. 1 pick in the NBA whenever he’d decide to enter the draft. By the end of his junior year in high school, it was clear that James would be a success in the NBA.
We didn’t know, of course, that he’d be a top 2 basketball player of all time. But it was clear that he had Hall of Fame potential, and right from his junior year, every high school game of his was nationally televised.
One of the players who attended one of his junior year games was the Lakers’ superstar Kobe Bryant. Kobe was considered the best perimeter player in the NBA at the time – players modeled their game on his.
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Bryant met James at a game for St. Vincent St. Mary’s High School in 2002, and he had a special gift. This was a pair of Adidas sneakers from his own signature line – the Kobe 2 ‘USA’ colorway. James later revealed that this was his best memory with Kobe,
Kobe 2 ‘USA’ game-worn sneakers gifted to LeBron James auctioned for $156k
LeBron wore these special-edition sneakers in one of the marquee matchups of his high school career. This was a game against Oak Hill Academy, which contained an elite NBA prospect and future Hall of Famer Carmelo Anthony.
James won his first-ever game against Melo and stamped his name into NBA scouts’ books as a can’t-miss prospect. These sneakers also entered the market as a can’t-miss collectible.
Wild — LeBron’s game worn “USA” Kobe Twos, gifted to him straight from Kobe in 2002 and his “most fond moment” of Bryant — have sold for $156,000 at @HeritageAuction: https://t.co/FUN8Lj2DC5 pic.twitter.com/m2rlfHjCEY
— Nick DePaula (@NickDePaula) February 28, 2021
Memorabilia items connected to Kobe Bryant in some way or another will continue to skyrocket in the years to come.