Kobe Bryant Sued His Parents for Selling His Memorabilia Without Consent

Kobe Bryant is known to millions of fans all around the world as one of the most high-profile basketball players of all time. A talented shooting guard, Bryant achieved the level of fame that many NBA players can only dream of — and he did it all his way, staying true to his personal code of ethics and manner of conduct.

A loving husband and father of four girls, Bryant’s life was tragically cut short due to a helicopter crash. Still, fans will never forget Bryant and the indelible impression that he made on the sport of basketball. While Bryant’s life was full of exciting career highs, there were some notable lows as well — specifically, an incident involving his parents allegedly selling his memorabilia without his consent. 

Kobe Bryant points to his teammates during a game
Kobe Bryant points to a teammate during a game | Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Why did Kobe Bryant become famous?

Kobe Bryant was born in Pennsylvania in 1978. He developed his lifelong affinity for basketball when he was only three years old, and as the only son of a former NBA player, young Bryant got a lot of practice time in.

In high school, Bryant first started getting noticed for his abilities, and he quickly became a star of the varsity basketball team. In 1996, he declared for the NBA draft, after being recognized as the top high-school basketball player in the United States.

After landing with the Los Angeles Lakers, Bryant gained a reputation as a fan favorite. He would ultimately spend his entire 20-year basketball career with the Lakers. Bryant won a slew of awards during his time on the court, including five NBA championships. He was also an 18-time All-Star and a 15-time member of the All-NBA Team. 

When did Kobe Bryant pass away?

Kobe Bryant retired from basketball after the 2015-16 season, after more than two decades in the sport that he loved so much. Still, Bryant was active in the community, working on a variety of projects that interested him, including writing and narrating an animated film titled Dear Basketball. Bryant even won an Academy Award for the moving short film. 

There’s no doubt that Bryant would have continued to earn acclaim from critics and fans as his life progressed. Sadly, he was tragically killed in January 2020, when a helicopter containing Bryant, one of his young daughters, and seven others, crashed in Calabasas, California. Fans around the world mourned for Bryant, even as they celebrated his legacy. 

Kobe Bryant’s memorabilia drama

RELATED: What Was Kobe Bryant’s Net Worth at His Time of Death?

In the wake of Kobe Bryant’s passing, many fans looked to stories from his past as proof of how the acclaimed baller overcame adversity. One story, in particular, has risen to the forefront in recent months.

In 2013, Bryant was at the top of his game when he discovered that his parents planned to auction off some of his personal memorabilia without his consent.

According to ESPN, Bryant was furious, and promptly sued the company that was planning on holding the auction for his parents’ benefit. The auction would have contained items such as Bryant’s high school uniforms and rings celebrating the 2000 Lakers championship team.

A deal was eventually reached in the lawsuit, which allowed for less than 10 percent of the items originally intended for sale to be auctioned off — a total of six items.

Bryant’s parents did apologize in a written statement, declaring that they “apologize for any misunderstanding and unintended pain we have caused our son and appreciate the financial support he has provided over the years.”

Bryant, according to the article, had no comment when contacted for the story. Although it seems likely that the incident caused some drama within the family, Bryant chose to keep things classy when handling it publicly.