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Kobe Bryant battles mom, NJ business over auction

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 06:43 a.m. HST, May 03, 2013

CAMDEN, N.J. >> Kobe Bryant is in a court battle to try to keep his mother from auctioning off mementoes from his high school days in Pennsylvania and his early years with the Los Angeles Lakers.

A New Jersey auction house filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Camden on Thursday for the right to sell the stuff after the NBA star's lawyers wrote the firm telling it to cancel a planned June auction.

The disagreement is a high-value, high-profile version of a question many families face: Can Mom get rid of the stuff a grown child left at home?

In this case, the 900 mementoes happen to be worth upward of $1.5 million.

Among the first 100 or so items Pamela Bryant intends to sell: the NBA star's jerseys, practice gear and sweatsuits from Lower Merion High School; varsity letters; a trophy for being the outstanding player at the 1995 Adidas ABCD basketball camp; and a signed basketball from the 2000 NBA championship game.

And then there are rings, for the 1996 Pennsylvania high school championship, a pair that the Lakers made for Bryant's parents for the 2000 NBA championship and one from the 1998 NBA All-Star game.

According to court filings, Pamela Bryant struck a deal in January with Goldin Auctions in Berlin, N.J., which earlier this year sold a rare Honus Wagner baseball card for a record $2.1 million.

She got $450,000 up front, which she intended to use for a new home in Nevada.

In its court filings, Goldin says Pamela Bryant told the auction house that she asked her son five years ago what he wanted to do with the items that were in her home.

"Kobe Bryant indicated to Pamela Bryant that the items belonged to her and that he had no interest in them," the auction house's attorneys wrote. So she put them in a $1,500-per-month New Jersey storage unit.

The challenge came Tuesday when Goldin sent a news release announcing the auction. By day's end, Kobe Bryant's lawyer had sent a cease-and-desist letter telling the auction house to call off the sale and return the items to him.

Kenneth Goldin, owner of the auction house, says he can't cancel the auction because he's already advanced $450,000 to Bryant's mother and put money into advertising the auction.

Kobe Bryant's lawyer Mark Campbell said in a statement, "Mr. Bryant's personal property has ended up in the possession of someone who does not lawfully own it. We look forward to resolving this legal matter through the legal system."

Bryant has had a sometimes icy relationship with his mother and father, Joe "Jellybean" Bryant, a former pro basketball player who is now coaching in Thailand.

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CriticalReader wrote:
C'mon, Kobe! Buy your Mom a house!
on May 3,2013 | 05:54AM
OldDiver wrote:
Who care about Kobe's mom, buy me a house.
on May 3,2013 | 08:56AM
BlueDolphin53 wrote:
I would say Kobe is taking pretty good care of his mom if she can afford a 1500.00 per month storage facility.
on May 3,2013 | 06:48AM
aomohoa wrote:
How do you know he is giving her the money for the storage? You don't. He is disrespecting his Mama! Maybe you don't respect your Mama either BlueDolphin53??
on May 3,2013 | 12:51PM
lowtone123 wrote:
Sounds like Kobe's not taking care of his mom and their relationship may be strained.
on May 3,2013 | 07:18AM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
I am not the least bit surprised by Koby's actions. When he played in the Olympics he was asked what he learned from his all-star teammates. He said he had nothing to learn from them.
on May 3,2013 | 10:10AM
juscasting wrote:
Sell them mom and move to Nevada! Just remember the beer and cookies when I come to visit!
on May 3,2013 | 12:21PM
aomohoa wrote:
He has no class. He left all his stuff behind, like kids do. Then because he now knows it's worth a lot he is going to flight her for it?? Treat your Mama better Kobe!!!!
on May 3,2013 | 12:48PM
cojef wrote:
Ditto, it's just juvenile high school days relics so let Mom have them. Further you abandoned them when yo failed to claim them when you hooked up with a wife. You severed your ties and since you did claim the items then, it abandoned and Mamma has right sell them. Give your Momma some slack. If you don't then you are an ingrate and desrespectable person.
on May 3,2013 | 03:29PM
aomohoa wrote:
Vanessa probably wants some new jewelry and does like his Mom. That's the kind of superficial woman Kobe would be with, Just a guess.
on May 3,2013 | 12:53PM
olos73 wrote:
Let them fight. All in da ohana. No harm anyone else.
on May 3,2013 | 01:26PM
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