Kobe Bryant's 'Achilles jersey' sells for $1.22 million at Goldin

Irrevocable bid from May 7 held up as winner for game-worn jersey from 2013 injury

Cover Image for Kobe Bryant's 'Achilles jersey' sells for $1.22 million at Goldin
The Kobe "Achilles" game is the epitome of "Mamba Mentality." (Credit: Goldin Auctions)

The jersey that Kobe Bryant wore when he tore his Achilles tendon and famously hit two foul shots after the injury, sold for $1.22 million at Goldin Auctions on Saturday night.

The final bid, an irrevocable one, was made May 7, meaning no bids came in the final 23 days. The bid jumped that day from $425,000 to the final price.

An irrevocable bid is when a bidder guarantees to buy the item if no other bidder steps up. If other bids come in, the irrevocable bidder gets a percentage of the upside, serving as the auction house’s “Thank You” for boosting the bid.

The gold home Lakers jersey from the April 12, 2013, game came to represent Bryant’s “Mamba Mentality,” to never give up and to fight the odds.

Bryant died in a tragic helicopter crash in January 2020.

Over the last three years, Bryant and Michael Jordan have emerged as the top two sellers in the game-worn market.

In May 2021, Goldin sold a signed, worn jersey from early in Bryant's career for $3.6 million. A Bryant rookie jersey sold at SCP Auctions for $2.73 million in June 2022.

In February 2023, a jersey Bryant wore in 25 games, including the famous game where he “popped” his jersey, sold at Sotheby’s for $5.8 million.

Most recently, his jersey from Game 1 of the 2009 NBA Finals — in which he scored a Finals career-high 40 points — sold at Sotheby’s for $1.75 million.

The most surprising result in the auction was a Michael Jordan 1986 Fleer rookie, graded PSA 10, selling for $292,800. Similar cards have been selling recently for $160,000 to $180,000.

A heavily restored 1957 Yankees jersey from Mickey Mantle’s MVP season sold for $457,500. The market clearly was not ready to pay up for the work that had been done on the jersey, which had been sent down to the minor leagues and relabeled.

The highest graded Marilyn Monroe Playboy No. 1 failed to get a single bid in auction that started with a $150,000 reserve.

A pair of signed Air Jordan 1’s that Jordan wore in Trieste, Italy, for a 1985 exhibition game in which he shattered the backboard, sold for $444,080. The pair was last sold in 2020 at Christie’s for $615,000.

The high sale was a 2003-04 Jordan 1/1 Logoman card that sold for $2.93 million. It’s the second highest paid for a modern card at auction behind the $3.1 million paid for the Luka Doncic National Treasures RPA Logoman in 2022.

Darren Rovell is the founder of cllct.com and one of the country's leading reporters on the collectible market. He previously worked for ESPN, CNBC and The Action Network.