It won’t be a very Happy Mother’s Day for the mom of one NBA superstar.
Pamela Bryant, the mother of Lakers star Kobe Bryant, is being sued in New Jersey court after she sold his old memorabilia to an auctioneer, Goldin Auctions LLC ion West Berlin, N.J. Pamela was seeking an estimated $1.5 million for Kobe’s old stuff, including high school jerseys, trophies and even NBA championship rings.
Ken Goldin, the founder of Goldin Auctions, has also filed suit as he seeks to determine who has legal rights to the memorabilia. The suit was filed in Camden, N.J. A hearing has been set for May 20.
“A team-issued championship ring is among the most treasured of all sports collectibles and the opportunity to own one from an active player as significant as Kobe Bryant is rare,” Goldin said in an April 30 news release. “Normally, items like these can only be viewed in a museum or the Hall of Fame. We are honored to be able to make these offerings to collectors around the world.”
Kobe, who isn’t very close with his mom, has sent a cease-and-desist letter to Goldin Auctions. According to the lawsuit, Pamela had asked Kobe’s wife, Vanessa, if she wanted the items and Vanessa said no. Pamela packed them up, took out insurance on them and put them in storage.
Pamela reportedly received $450,000 up front for the items and plans to buy a home in Nevada. According to ESPN, Kobe had offered her $250,000 toward the home, but Pamela declined and struck a deal with Goldin Auctions.
Kobe’s lawyer, Mark Campbell, is ready to let the matter play out in the courts. Goldin said he can’t cancel the auction because he has already spent money on advertising for it.
“Mr. Bryant’s personal property has ended up in the possession of someone who does not lawfully own it,” said Campbell in a statement. “We look forward to resolving this legal matter through the legal system.”
Kobe isn’t commenting on the matter. His father, Joe “Jellybean” Bryant, is a coach in Thailand. Pamela couldn’t be reached for immediate comment, either.