Kobe Bryant Card and Memorabilia Guide

Kobe Bryant

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


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

Kobe Bryant 1996-97 SP BGS 9.5 GEM MINT rookie # 134 Rc

Kobe Bryant Francis 2001-02 Upper Deck Hardcourt Fantastic Floor 100 PSA 9 POP

Kobe Bryant 1996-97 Hoops Sheets PSA 10 LOW POP RARE rookie # NNO rc

Kobe Bryant 1996-97 Skybox New Editions PSA 10 POP 15 insert rookie # 3 GEM MINT

Kobe Bryant 1996-97 Fleer "Sprite" rookie BGS 9.5 GEM Mint # 17 POP 19

Kobe Bryant Ceballos Pippen Van Horn 1997-98 Bowman's Best Mirror Image # M14

Kobe Bryant 2007-08 Hot Prospects Notable Notations 10 ruby red auto MINT NN-KB

Kobe Bryant Pippen 1997-98 Bowman's Best Mirror Image refractor PSA 10 # M14

Kobe Bryant 1996 Collector's Edge Ice Sculpture rookie PSA 10 # 6 rc GEM MINT

Kobe Bryant 2010-11 Classics Membership Materials 499 #12 PSA 10 POP 2 GEM MINT

KOBE BRYANT ANDREW WIGGINS 2015-16 Court Kings 2 on 2 Quad Patch SSP # 25 DH

Kobe Bryant - 1996-97 Topps #138 RC - Mint 9

2014 2015 Kobe Bryant National Treasures Night Moves Auto Jersey Patch 10 10


Kobe Bryant - 1997-98 SkyBox Premium Rock 'n Fire #2

1996-97 Hoops #281 Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers USA RC BGS 9.5 Gem Mint
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Rookie Cards

Kobe Bryant Rookie Card Checklist

Premium Rookie Cards

Top eBay Listings

Kobe Bryant 1996-97 SP BGS 9.5 GEM MINT rookie # 134 Rc

Kobe Bryant 1996-97 Hoops Sheets PSA 10 LOW POP RARE rookie # NNO rc

Kobe Bryant 1996-97 Skybox New Editions PSA 10 POP 15 insert rookie # 3 GEM MINT

Kobe Bryant 1996-97 Fleer "Sprite" rookie BGS 9.5 GEM Mint # 17 POP 19

Kobe Bryant - 1996-97 Topps #138 RC - Mint 9

1996-97 Hoops #281 Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers USA RC BGS 9.5 Gem Mint

Kobe Bryant 1996-97 Hoops Grant Hill's All Rookie Team BGS 9 w 9.5 RARE POP 10

Kobe Bryant 1996-97 Ultra Gold Medallion Edition BGS 9.5 POP 13 # G266 GEM MINT

Kobe Bryant 1996-97 Fleer Rookie Sensations BGS 9.5 rookie # 5 rc GEM MINT

Kobe Bryant 1996-97 Topps Youthquake BGS 9.5 w 10 GEM MINT rookie # YQ15 rc

Kobe Bryant 1996-97 Fleer Sprite rookie BGS 9.5 GEM MINT # 17 rc

Kobe Bryant 1996-97 Bowman's Best Atomic Refractor PSA 9 MINT rookie R23

Kobe Bryant 1996-97 Fleer Rookie Sensations BGS 9.5 rookie # 5 rc GEM MINT

Kobe Bryant 1996-97 Skybox Rookie Prevue BGS 9 w 9.5 POP 16 RARE # R3 rc insert

Kobe Bryant 1996-97 Fleer Sprite rookie BGS 9.5 GEM Mint POP 19 # 17 variation

Kobe Bryant 1996-97 SP Holoviews BGS 9.5 rookie # PC18 rc GEM Mint old label
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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 rookie era signed Basketball! Official NBA Ball! PSA DNA COA!

KOBE BRYANT Lakers #8 Purple Jersey Signed Autograph Framed PSA DNA COA framed

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


Kobe Bryant Hand Signed Autographed #8 Jersey Number only PSA DNA B09607

Kobe Bryant Hand Signed Autographed #8 Jersey Number only PSA DNA B09606

Kobe Bryant Signed framed purple Lakers #8 Jersey BOLD Full auto 32x40 PSA COA

Kobe Bryant Signed framed Lakers #8 Jersey BOLD Full autograph 36x44 PSA COA

Kobe Bryant Signed Lakers #8 Jersey Number 2001 finals PHOTO framed PSA 32X32

Lakers Kobe Bryant Signed 20x24 Dunking Photo 41 100 w Kobe Holo

Lakers Kobe Bryant "8" Authentic Signed Basketball Autographed PSA DNA #W06181

Lakers Kobe Bryant "Carpe Diem" Signed Official NBA Basketball PSA DNA #Z03387

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

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

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

Kobe Bryant Signed 2001 NBA Finals PRO Game Basketball Autograph PSA DNA COA
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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 or Google+.

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.


  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

  6. There should be a serious conversation in regards to Scoreboard and them having had Kobe sign the first cards ever made . A real confer should be had , it seems the brands became the only thing that mattered and we forgot that in 96 Kobe signed for NO ONE but scoreboard

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