- The shooting shirt is from the late Kobe Bryant’s 81-point game in 2006.
- A 1/1 NFT copy of the shirt will be included in the sale.
- Winning bidder can pay in BTC, ETH, USDC or fiat.
Famed art auction house Sotheby’s announced today that it will be accepting crypto payments for a sports memorabilia NFT auction it is hosting. The item up for auction is late Los Angeles Laker basketballer Kobe Bryant’s shooting shirt from a 2006 game against the Toronto Raptors.
This comes shortly after news broke that Bryant’s company Kobe Inc. is launching NFTs to celebrate his legacy.
Bryant famously scored 81 points in the game, the second-highest scoring total in NBA history. While the shirt is not his game-worn jersey, it was worn for his warm-up prior to his game. The shooting shirt has been verified and photo-matched by the NBA’s official authenticator, The MeiGray Group.
A 1/1 NFT copy of the shooting shirt will be included in the sale. Sotheby’s has yet to reveal what the NFT looks like, but it will feature an original animation celebrating Bryant’s score.
Created by Karvin Cheung – the designer of Upper Deck’s highly coveted Exquisite Collection Basketball trading cards – the NFT will also include Chinese imagery inspired by the significance of the number 8 and the traditional of red envelopes in Chinese culture.
The number 8 is believed to be auspicious and represents fortune and prosperity, while red envelopes are given as gifts during birthdays, marriages and Lunar New Year.
“‘81’ is among the most memorable moments in not only basketball, but throughout sports history,” Brahm Wachter, Sotheby’s head of Streetwear and Modern Collectables, said in a release. “It is an honor to offer a piece from this historic game, worn by one of the league’s most legendary players right before he shattered multiple records – including Bryant’s own career high.”
The auction started today with an opening bid of $200,000, and will close on Feb 22. As the auction house pairs crypto payments with sports memorabilia for the first time, the winning bidder can pay in BTC, ETH or USDC in addition to fiat.
Fans who wish to take a look at the shirt can attend the public viewing held at Sotheby’s Los Angeles gallery, which will be open until the auction ends.
Sotheby’s has been active in the NFT space since last year, mainly auctioning off digital art and sports-related NFTs. In May, the auction house began accepting crypto payments. It generated $100 million in NFT sales in 2021.
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