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

1996 UPPER DECK #148 LOS ANGELES LAKERS KOBE BRYANT RC PSA 10 K1916221-103
$11.99

1996-97 TOPPS BASKETBALL SET 1-221 KOBE BRYANT RC (SA415)
$19.99

1996-97 Fleer Metal Fresh Foundation #137 Kobe Bryant Lakers Rookie BGS 9 Mint
$49.00

1996-97 FLEER ULTRA KOBE BRYANT ROOKIE #52 LAKERS RC
$39.00

1996-97 NBA HOOPS KOBE BRYANT ROOKIE #3 LAKERS RC
$34.00

1996-97 NBA HOOPS KOBE BRYANT ROOKIE #3 LAKERS RC
$34.00

1996-97 SKYBOX E-X2000 KOBE BRYANT #30 LAKERS ROOKIE RC BGS 6.5 EX-MT+
$34.00

1996-97 SKYBOX PREMIUM KOBE BRYANT LAKERS ROOKIE RC #55
$34.00

1996-97 SKYBOX PREMIUM KOBE BRYANT LAKERS ROOKIE RC #55
$34.00

1998-99 SKYBOX THUNDER KOBE BRYANT LIFT OFF #3 LO LAKERS
$41.00

1998-99 UPPER DECK ENCORE F X KOBE BRYANT DRIVING FORCES #119 500 LAKERS F2
$34.00

2001-02 FLEER GENUINE KOBE BRYANT SKYWALKERS #4 SW (SKY WALKERS)
$34.00

2003-04 UPPER DECK UD GLASS KOBE BRYANT CLEAR CUT WINNERS #118 350 LAKERS JERSEY
$34.00

Mint Kobe Bryant 1997 Topps Fantastic 15 Insert #F12 *Free Combined
$19.95

1 1 #24 99 KOBE BRYANT IGUODALA DUAL NBA LOGO + GAME JERSEY KOBE JERSEY # RARE
$249.99

Kobe Bryant Rookie GAME USED basketball insert # 2
$10.00
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Rookie Cards

Kobe Bryant Rookie Card Checklist

Premium Rookie Cards

Top eBay Listings

1996-97 TOPPS BASKETBALL SET 1-221 KOBE BRYANT RC (SA415)
$19.99

1996-97 Fleer Metal Fresh Foundation #137 Kobe Bryant Lakers Rookie BGS 9 Mint
$49.00

1996-97 FLEER ULTRA KOBE BRYANT ROOKIE #52 LAKERS RC
$39.00

1996-97 NBA HOOPS KOBE BRYANT ROOKIE #3 LAKERS RC
$34.00

1996-97 NBA HOOPS KOBE BRYANT ROOKIE #3 LAKERS RC
$34.00

1996-97 SKYBOX E-X2000 KOBE BRYANT #30 LAKERS ROOKIE RC BGS 6.5 EX-MT+
$34.00

1996-97 SKYBOX PREMIUM KOBE BRYANT LAKERS ROOKIE RC #55
$34.00

1996-97 SKYBOX PREMIUM KOBE BRYANT LAKERS ROOKIE RC #55
$34.00

BGS 8 KOBE BRYANT 1996 97 UD Exclusives ROOKIE Card RC Los Angeles Lakers
$13.49

1996-97 Z-Force #142 Kobe Bryant RC - NM-MT+
$6.00

1996-97 SP Authentic Hobby Basketball Box Kobe Bryant Iverson Ray Allen
$225.00

Kobe Bryant 96-97 Fleer Lucky 13 Los Angeles Lakers
$34.95

1996-97 Topps RC #138 KOBE BRYANT BGS 8.5 NM-MT+ Los Angeles Lakers Rookie
$18.26

1996-97 Skybox Premium New Edition #3 Kobe Bryant BCCG 10
$29.95

1996-97 Ultra Gold Medallion KOBE BRYANT #G266 RE BGS 8.5 Grade
$9.95

KOBE BRYANT 1996-97 COLLECTORS CHOICE RC ROOKIE FREE SHIP
$5.99
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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 32x32 Lakers #8 Jersey Number museum framed Photo Auto PSA
$699.99

Lakers Kobe Bryant Signed PSA DNA No. 8 Jersey!! Free Shipping!! Lowest Price!
$349.00

Kobe Bryant Hand Signed Autographed LA Lakers Jersey Custom Framed #8 PSA DNA
$699.99

Kobe Bryant Autographed Signed Nike Lower Merion High school jersey JSA COA
$480.00

Kobe Bryant Signed 16x20 Photo 81 Point Game LA Lakers RARE JSA Full LOA Y66661
$1,199.99

Kobe Bryant Hand Signed Autographed Custom Framed Lakers Jersey #8 PSA DNA 08869
$999.99

Kobe Bryant Signed Framed 18x24 Photo Collage JSA w Lebron James Michael Jordan
$299.99

Kobe Bryant Signed 2001 NBA Finals PRO Game Basketball Autograph PSA DNA COA
$499.99

Kobe Bryant Signed Official NBA Basketball Full Vintage Autograph Lakers PSA DNA
$499.99

Kobe Bryant Signed Official NBA Basketball Full Vintage Autograph Lakers PSA DNA
$529.99

Kobe Bryant Signed Official NBA Game Basketball Vintage Autograph Lakers PSA DNA
$499.00

Kobe Bryant Signed Spalding All Surface Basketball PSA DNA E24798 Full Signature
$500.00

Kobe Bryant Signed Official NBA Lakers Jersey PSA DNA
$610.00

KOBE BRYANT SIGNED LOS ANGELES LAKERS NBA BASKETBALL PSA DNA LOA
$999.99

MUST SEE LAKERS KOBE BRYANT SIGNED FRAMED16X20 PHOTO FULL NAME SIGNATURE PSA COA
$599.99

Kobe Bryant Signed Spalding Basketball Full Autograph Lakers PSA DNA coa
$279.00
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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. In more recent years 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.

  5. Hi years ago I pulled a kobe 98-99 collectors edge rookie rage auto. card number rr-46 the Beckett says its /39 so I always thought it was recently I saw one hand numbered on back up on eBay were the cards numbered on the back? Was there a regular version what’s the price range of my card if there are 2 versions any thoughts would be appreciated thank you

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