Kobe Bryant’s Parents Criticized For Auctioning His First Championship Ring

The auction concludes on March 30 and the latest bid is $94,000.

Kobe Bryant’s parents, Joe “Jellybean” and Pamela Bryant, have come under fire for auctioning off their late son’s first NBA championship ring, Vibe Magazine reports.

Many have taken to social media to voice their displeasure about the “Black Mamba’s” parents' decision to sell their son’s memorabilia.

“Vanessa might as well cut Kobe’s parents a check since they out here starving cause ain’t no way that championship ring should belong to anyone else besides her and the girls. You gotta keep that in-house,” one user wrote. 

Another user described the auctioning off of Bryant’s ring as “disgraceful.”

During the 1999-2000 season, the Lakers defeated the Indianapolis Pacers for the NBA title. When the Lakers received their championship rings, Kobe ordered a replica of the ring to give to his father as a gift. 

According to the description by Goldin Auctions, the ring is 14-karat gold with 40 diamonds. The ring has Bryant's last name along with the Lakers' regular-season record (67-15) and postseason record (15-8) appearing on one side. On the other side, the inscription reads "bling bling" followed by the year (2000). 

To say that Kobe’s relationship with his parents was rocky before his untimely passing would be an understatement. The relationship began to sour when Kobe began dating Vanessa. At the couple’s wedding in April 2001, his parents did not attend the ceremony. 

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Although they attempted to reconcile over the years, in 2013, further damage was done when his parents first attempted to sell Kobe’s treasured memorabilia from his career, including the championship ring and his high school jerseys from his days at Lower Merion High School. 

“When u give Give GIVE and they take Take TAKE at wat point do u draw a line in the sand?” Kobe tweeted at the time, adding hashtags: “hurt beyond measure,” “gave me no warning,” and finally, “love?”

Later that year, Bryant settled a lawsuit with Goldin which allowed “for less than 10% of the items initially slated for auction to actually be sold.”

In a statement, Joe and Pamela Bryant offered an apology after the settlement.

"We regret our actions and statements related to the Kobe Bryant auction memorabilia," the statement read. "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."

Creating a further rift, Bryant’s parents were noticeably absent at his final NBA game in 2016. In an interview with ESPN, Bryant described the current state of his relationship with his parents.

“Our relationship is sh*t,” he explained “I say, ‘I’m going to buy you a very nice home,’ and the response is, ‘That’s not good enough?’ Then you’re selling my s**t?”

The auction for the championship ring will conclude on March 31, and the current bid sits at $94,000.

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