Kobe Bryant Card and Memorabilia Guide

Kobe Bryant

Date of Birth: 8/23/1978
Rookie Card Year: 1996-97
Investment Rating: 8.5


Overview

Few names in basketball collecting carry as much weight as Kobe Bryant. Although Michael Jordan made the hobby relevant, when he retired he passed the torch to Black Mamba. Some will argue for LeBron James, but Bryant's championship success and unparalleled desire to win relate most closely to Jordan. The value of Kobe Bryant cards are also the closest to Jordan's. Only time will tell how many viable years Bryant has left to build his legacy.

Click here for a real-time look at the hottest Kobe Bryant cards currently listed on eBay.

Like many players, first-year Kobe Bryant card values went to tremendous highs several years ago, but have since come down to reasonable levels. Since this was before the serial numbered and autograph craze that now dominates the hobby, the premium brands are the biggest draw. Most rookies can be found in graded form for under $30. Pricey rookie parallels are out there for collectors looking for more of a challenge. 1996-97 E-X2000 Credentials, Topps Chrome Refractors, Finest Refractors and Flair Showcase Legacy are among the best Kobe Bryant card options from his rookie year.

Like many star players, Kobe Bryant autographs have proven to been great investments. Exclusive deals and a limited willingness to sign in-person make acquiring Bryant's signature both difficult and lucrative. However, now that he has signed an exclusive deal with Panini, collectors have more signed Kobe Bryant card options, pushing the average price down slightly.

Premium pieces of autographed Kobe Bryant memorabilia like basketballs and jerseys represent the best investment option for collectors going forward. If Bryant can make a couple more postseason runs and either tie or surpass Jordan's six championships, his legend will reach even higher. Bryant currently stands at five championships and the clock is ticking.

Top 3 Kobe Bryant Rookie Cards

1996-97 Topps Chrome Kobe Bryant RC #138

For collectors, the choice is clear when it comes to the top best Kobe Bryant rookie card and it's 1996-97 Topps Chrome. It has a nice design with a metallic chromium finish. The Chrome rookie's popularity has led to some counterfeit problems. The card also has condition issues. Stick with graded versions to be certain the card is legitimate and fairly assessed.

1996-97 Finest Kobe Bryant RC #74

Bryant's Finest rookie card is another collector favorite. The slightly cartoonish design shows Bryant breaking though a metal barrier, getting ready to dunk. 1996-97 Finest came with a protective coating that could be peeled off. Values remain the same with or without the peel, however collectors may want to be cautious removing them today as it's easy to nick corners trying to get them off.

1996-97 E-X2000 Kobe Bryant RC #30

Some years, it seems like all the cards the same. The E-X2000 design stands alone and this Kobe Bryant card is definitely one of his nicest rookies. The vivid green border shows a cutout of Bryant set against a somewhat transparent background of clouds.

Top eBay Listings

*ROOKIE ATOMIC REFRACTOR* 1996-97 Bowman's Best BGS 9.5 Kobe Bryant Topps RC R23
$899.99

1996-97 Upper Deck #58 KOBE BRYANT Rookie RC PSA 10 GEM MINT Lakers!!!!!!
$30.00

SIGNATURE CLASS AUTO 2003-04 Honor Roll BGS 9.5 10 LeBron James RC Kobe Bryant
$1,899.99

2013-14 PANINI IMMACULATE KOBE BRYANT JUMBO JERSEY 52 75
$11.49

2013-2014 Panini Prizm KOBE BRYANT Red Prizm Guard Duty! SSP Retail Insert!
$14.99

Kobe Bryant 02-03 Ultimate Collection #26 Lakers #d 750
$25.00

1997-98 Flair Showcase Legacy Collection Row 2 #18 Kobe Bryant 4 100 BGS 8 NM-MT
$260.52

1996-97 Upper Deck #58 KOBE BRYANT Rookie BGS 9.5 GEM
$100.00

1996 - 1997 FLEER #203 KOBE BRYANT Beckett 9 RC
$24.99

1996-96 Topps #138 Kobe Bryant BGS 8 & #171 Allen Iverson 8.5! Old Label
$10.00

Kobe Bryant -Timeless memories - '07-'08 Upper Deck Chronology 52 99 Autograph
$305.00

2013-2014 Panini Prizm KOBE BRYANT Green Prizm Guard Duty! SSP Retail Insert!
$14.99

99-00 STADIUM CLUB CHROME REFRACTORS #87 KOBE BRYANT PARALLEL GEM MINT BGS 9.5
$69.00

KOBE BRYANT UPPER DECK COLL CHOICE RC #267 RC PSA 10 GEM MINT 10
$14.99

Kobe Bryant 1996 UPPER DECK RC #58 PSA 10 GEM MT 10 !!!!!!
$19.99

Kobe Bryant 1996 FLEER METAL RC # 181 PSA 10 GEM MT 10 RARE !!!!!!
$24.99
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Rookie Cards

Kobe Bryant Rookie Card Checklist

Premium Rookie Cards

Top eBay Listings

*ROOKIE ATOMIC REFRACTOR* 1996-97 Bowman's Best BGS 9.5 Kobe Bryant Topps RC R23
$899.99

1996-97 Upper Deck #58 KOBE BRYANT Rookie RC PSA 10 GEM MINT Lakers!!!!!!
$30.00

1996-97 Upper Deck #58 KOBE BRYANT Rookie BGS 9.5 GEM
$100.00

KOBE BRYANT- ROOKIE CARD 1996-97 UPPER DECK SP #134 NR-MINT CONDITION WOW !
$12.24

KOBE BRYANT- ROOKIE CARD 1996-97 UPPER DECK #58 MINT CONDITION WOW !
$9.24

1996-97 SP KOBE BRYANT Rookie card #134 PSA Mint 9...Lakers
$5.99

1996 97 Flair Showcase Kobe Bryant #31 Los Angeles Lakers BGS BCCG 10
$7.06

1996 97 Upper Deck SP Kobe Bryant #134 Los Angeles Lakers BGS BCCG 10
$5.50

Kobe Bryant GRADED ROOKIE!!! 2003 04 1996 97 Skybox Z Force #142 Lakers MVP! 7.5
$5.99

Kobe Bryant GRADED ROOKIE!!! 1996 97 Fleer Metal #181 Lakers MVP! 8-1
$7.99

1996-97 Fleer Metal KOBE BRYANT #181 RC BGS 9.5 GEM MINT
$36.95

96-97 FLEER ROOKIE SENSATIONS #3 KOBE BRYANT RC GEM MINT BGS 9.5 NICE!
$399.99

1996-97 Fleer Ultra #52 KOBE BRYANT Los Angeles Lakers Rookie (RC) PSA MINT 9
$5.50

(10) KOBE BRYANT 96-97 FLEER ULTRA ENCORE RC LOT LAKERS
$99.99

96 97 flair showcase kobe bryant class of ninety six insert #4
$13.00

1996-97 KOBE BRYANT SKYBOX EX-2000 Credentials 23K GOLD ROOKIE BLUE *GEM MINT 10
$7.95
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Autograph Guide

Kobe Bryant Autographed Memorabilia Buying Guide

In this section, you will find examples of what an authentic Kobe Bryant autograph looks like. This can be used as a first point of reference for determining the legitimacy of autograph memorabilia, but is not a substitute for having your items authenticated by a well-respected professional autograph authentication company. For several years, Kobe Bryant autographs were an exclusive part of the Upper Deck Authenticated (UDA) collection. While many of those items are still available, newer items will be found as part of the Panini Authentic collection.  Other reputable authentication companies include JSA and PSA. Click on any of the images below to view full size photos.

Kobe Bryant Signature Exemplar

Kobe Bryant Key Signature Attributes: An authentic Kobe Bryant autograph/signature will exhibit several distinguishing characteristics, depending on when in his career the item was signed. Other characteristics that play into his signature style are the particular item and venue. Look for the following signature features:

  1. The whole signature is written at an up sloping 45-degree+ angle
  2. The letter "K" is over-sized and pronounced with no loops to it
  3. The pen lifts to start the letter "o" which is in the form of a small, closed circle
  4. The letters "b" and "e" are cursive like script and very legible
  5. The name "Bryant" is nothing more than a very unique and individualized script with two discernible closed, elongated loops

Signed Basketball Pricing

Active Listings for Kobe Bryant Signed Basketballs

Kobe Bryant Signed Basketball   Kobe Bryant Signed Basketball Close-up

Signed Jersey Pricing

Active Listings for Kobe Bryant Signed Jerseys

Kobe Bryant Signed Jersey   Kobe Bryant Signed Jersey Close-up

Signed Shoe Pricing

Active Listings for Kobe Bryant Signed Shoes

Kobe Bryant Signed Shoes   Kobe Bryant Signed Shoes Close-up

Signed Photograph Pricing

Active Listings for Kobe Bryant Signed Photographs

Kobe Bryant Signed Photo   Kobe Bryant Signed Photo Closeup

Top eBay Listings

Kobe Bryant Signed Los Angeles Lakers 8x10 Photo W JSA COA
$349.95

KOBE BRYANT FULL SIGNATURE FRAMED AUTO AUTOGRAPH SIGNED 16X20 PHOTO PSA PSA DNA
$450.00

Kobe Bryant Signed 8x10 Photo AUTO PSA DNA LOA Los Angeles Lakers
$83.00

Kobe Bryant Signed Lakers Authentic Autographed 11x14 Photo (PSA DNA) #U07716
$299.99

Kobe Bryant JSA Signed Auto Autograph Framed "MJ Tongue-Wag" Lakers 8x10 Photo
$199.99

RARE Kobe Bryant SIGNED Jersey | PSA DNA Certified | Throwback Blue Lakers #8
$370.00

KOBE BRYANT LOS ANGELES LAKERS SIGNED JERSEY PSA DNA AUTHENTICATION AUTO
$400.00

Kobe Bryant Hand Signed Autographed Los Angeles Lakers Jersey PSA DNA B08768
$449.99

Kobe Bryant Hand Signed Autographed Los Angeles Lakers Jersey PSA DNA B10341
$439.99

Kobe Bryant Signed Los Angeles Lakers 8x10 Photo (JSA Authenticated COA)
$349.95

Kobe Bryant Signed Authentic Rookie Jersey Gold #8 Psa dna
$699.00

KOBE BRYANT Alex Rodriguez ERIC LINDROS Quad Signed ESPN Magazine Photo PSA DNA
$995.00

Kobe Bryant Autographed Signed 8x10 Photo Lakers PSA DNA #S01488
$249.00

LAKERS KOBE BRYANT SIGNED AUTHENTIC 8X10 PHOTO HIGH SCHOOL JSA #F77634
$269.99

Kobe Bryant Signed 32x32 Lakers #8 Jersey Number museum framed Photo Auto PSA
$749.99

KOBE BRYANT SIGNED AUTOGRAPHED FRAMED LOS ANGELES LAKERS JERSEY PSA DNA #B11054
$799.00
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Fan Shop

Kobe Bryant Fan Shop Apparel and Souvenir Guide

Kobe Bryant's  jerseys and shoes are highly coveted by fans the world over. Game-used versions can sell for several thousand dollars. A lifelong member of the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe has jerseys that date back to his entry into the league in 1996-97 In addition, Kobe's collectibles include a wide range of fan shop items and other memorabilia like figures, artwork, posters photographs and more.

Jerseys and Shoes

Manufacturer: Nike, Addidas, Champion

Adidas is currently the licensed provider of NBA jerseys. However, the league has also had licenses with Nike and Champion. In addition to Bryant's Lakers jersey, fans and collectors can also find All-Star and Olympic jerseys to round out their wardrobe or collection.

Adidas's full line of officially licensed NBA jerseys are available in three different styles. The Replica jersey is a lightweight polyester mesh fabric with screen printed lettering and numbers and is perfect for casual everyday wear. The Swingman jersey is a step up in quality and features a similar style fabric but features twill lettering and numbers. The Authentic jersey is made of a heavier weight polyester and is designed with patented ClimaCool technology for outstanding performance. It also features an embroidered NBA patch and twill letters and numbers and is as close as you will get to the real deal.

Much like Michael Jordan and Lebron James, Kobe Bryant also has a full line of shoes made by Nike.

Kobe Bryant Jersey    Kobe Bryant Olympic Jersey   Kobe Bryant Purple Jersey   Kobe Bryant Shoes

Figures and Toys

Like many other superstar NBA players, Kobe Bryant has had a wide selection of figures, toys, bobbleheads and collectible statues created. Numerous companies have been involved with production of these fan items. While some are merely toys, others are truly collectible. Regardless of your budget, your sure to find the perfect piece for the Kobe fan in your life.

Manufacturers: McFarlane, Upper Deck, EnterBay, Mattel, Starting Line-up, Funko, Salino, Lego

Kobe Bryant McFarlane    Kobe Bryant Bobblehead

Kobe Bryant Enterbay   Kobe Bryant Funko

Photographs, Prints and Posters

When you pattern your game after Michael Jordan and lead your team to five NBA Championships, sports photographers tend to take notice. As such, Kobe has a wide variety of photographs, prints, lithographs, posters and even original artwork available to decorate any man-cave, office or bedroom. Notable rights holders listed below.

Rights-Holders: Upper Deck, PhotoFile, Panini, Fathead

Kobe Bryant Poster    Kobe Bryant FatHead


 |  E-Mail Author | 
Trey Treutel is an Ole Miss grad and a lifelong sports fanatic. He is a huge fan of the NBA and NFL, as well as soccer, college basketball and college football. As a kid, he collected football and basketball cards. As an adult, he started collecting basketball cards again on a whim and has since expanded to other sports and entertainment options. Find Trey on Twitter at @datreute.

User Comments

  1. Hi,

    I own a small card shop in Arlington WA. I just had a customer come in with a strange Kobe Rookie. Its a Topps number 138 and is encapsled in a topps sealed case. It’s serialed numbered to 100 on the back and has an embroidered logo in the center of the card that says topps original. I think based off the topps seal that it dates to the early 2000’s but its very confusing and I cannot find the card in any conventional resource data bases. Beckett Media, ebay ect. The seal appears to have been somwhat tampered with but that isn’t that unusual to see some damage but it doesn’t appear to have ever beenn completly opened in any way. Any thought on what this card is. I’d appreciate ant advice you have. Thanks, Mike Britt, Britt Sport Cards. 360-435-1800

  2. Mike Britt (ID 34333) » Hi Mike,
    If you’re able to email a scan or send a picture to rcracknell@cardboardconnection.com I’ll see if I can figure something out or I’ll post it in the forum and/or our Facebook page and a reader might be able to identify it.

    Thanks!

  3. So what is the rarest Kobe rookie card? I think that the Scoreboard Vision Artistry Signature card of Kobe Bryant is one of the rarest since Scoreboard company was only up for 2 years. What’s your opinion on this?

    Jourdan Banzon

  4. I have metal universe pmg nba skybox kobe bryant # 53 card that is encased in a hard plastic case. It shows on the reverse side his stats from the 97 – 98 season. Looking to find out where to sell and approximate value.

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