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

Population reports current as of 10/13

1996-97 Topps Chrome Kobe Bryant RC #138

1996 97 Topps Chrome Kobe Bryant Image

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 Topps Chrome Kobe Bryant BGS Population Report:
# Submitted: 2,558
Pristine 10: 54
Gem Mint 9.5: 612
Mint 9: 951

1996-97 Topps Chrome Kobe Bryant PSA Population Report:
# Submitted: 4,645
Gem Mint 10: 664
Mint 9: 3,493

1996-97 Finest Kobe Bryant RC #74

1996 97 Finest Kobe Bryant Image

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 Topps Finest Kobe Bryant BGS Population Report:
# Submitted: 3,706
Pristine 10: 46
Gem Mint 9.5: 750
Mint 9: 1,053

1996-97 Topps Finest Kobe Bryant PSA Population Report:
# Submitted: 88
Gem Mint 10: 20
Mint 9: 45

1996-97 E-X2000 Kobe Bryant RC #30

1996 97 E X2000 Kobe Bryant Image

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.

1996-97 E-X2000 Kobe Bryant BGS Population Report:
# Submitted: 1,878
Pristine 10: 0
Gem Mint 9.5: 15
Mint 9: 152

1996-97 E-X2000 Kobe Bryant PSA Population Report:
# Submitted: 2,863
Gem Mint 10: 17
Mint 9: 498

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2- GEM 10 Cards Kobe Bryant Rookie GEM + Michael Jordan GEM Signatures 23KT Gold
$39.00
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Kobe Bryant Rookie Auto 1996-97 Fleer 23K Gold Signature RC Card GEM Mint 10
$19.99
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Panini Black Box 2011 Kobe Bryant Auto Autograph 92 99 flawless immaculate
$105.00
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1996 KOBE BRYANT SKYBOX EX BLUE 23K GOLD rookie GEM 10
$34.99
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1996-97 KOBE BRYANT EX BLACK GOLD rookie CARD MINT
$34.99
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Panini 2009-10 Court Kings Kobe Bryant Hardwood Heroes on card Auto 31 49
$142.50
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RARE KOBE BRYANT ERROR ROOKIE YEAR 1996 COIN CARD w o JEFFERSON NICKEL L#98
$19.95
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LOT of 3 1996 Topps Kobe Bryant #138 Rookie Basketball Card
$10.00
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Kobe Bryant 1996-97 Ex-2000 BGS 9.5 Gem Mint Old Label
$2,000.00
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Kobe Bryant Pau Gasol Dwight Howard 2012 13 Panini Immaculate Jersy Lakers 37 50
$49.99
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1999-00 Upper Deck SPx Basketball Hobby Dealer Ad Michael Jordan Kobe Bryant +
$10.00
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2012-13 NATIONAL TREASURES KOBE BRYANT NBA GEAR AUTO TRIPLE JERSEY 87 99
$169.99
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KOBE BRYANT 96-97 FINEST ROOKIE
$29.99
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Kevin Durant, LeBron, Kobe Bryant 09 10 SP Game-Used 3 Star Jersey Swatches 299
$40.00
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Lakers Kobe Bryant Elite Black Box 3 Color Patch #'d 21 25
$54.95
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LOT OF 3 KOBE BRYANT 1996-97 FLEER ULTRA ENCORE RC 266 LOS ANGELES LAKERS ROOKIE
$18.99
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Rookie Cards

Kobe Bryant Rookie Card Checklist

Premium Rookie Cards

1996 97 Topps Chrome Kobe Bryant Image


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Kobe Bryant Rookie Auto 1996-97 Fleer 23K Gold Signature RC Card GEM Mint 10
$19.99
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1996-97 KOBE BRYANT EX BLACK GOLD rookie CARD MINT
$34.99
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Kobe Bryant 1996-97 Ex-2000 BGS 9.5 Gem Mint Old Label
$2,000.00
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KOBE BRYANT 96-97 FINEST ROOKIE
$29.99
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LOT OF 3 KOBE BRYANT 1996-97 FLEER ULTRA ENCORE RC 266 LOS ANGELES LAKERS ROOKIE
$18.99
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(5) 96-97 Topps KOBE BRYANT RC Rookie Lot 5 CT #138 1996-1997
$32.99
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Lot of 3 KOBE BRYANT 96 97 Topps RC #138, UD M129, Panini 194
$8.49
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1996-97 score board all sport ppf #185 KOBE BRYANT rookie BGS BCCG 9
$7.05
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KOBE BRYANT 1996 97 E-X2000 STAR DATE 2000 ROOKIE #3 RC GRADED BGS 8.5
$15.00
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1996-97 ultra #52 KOBE BRYANT rc rookie card BGS BCCG 9
$16.00
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KOBE BRYANT 1996-97 EX-2000 LTD ED. BLUE WCG GEMMT 10 23KT GOLD ROOKIE CARD!!!
$12.99
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1996-97 Ultra Gold Medallion #G266 Kobe Bryant RC BGS 7 NEAR MINT
$5.49
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KOBE BRYANT 96 97 FLEER METAL FRESH FOUNDATION ROOKIE RC CARD! LAKERS!
$17.00
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1996-97 96 97 KOBE BRYANT Upper Deck Rookie #58 SPECTACULAR!! GRADABLE!!
$9.99
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1996-97 KOBE BRYANT ROOKIE FINEST WITH COATING
$17.99
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Kobe Bryant 96-97 Topps RC
$7.49
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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 260x210 Image

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 260x260 Image  Kobe Bryant Signed Basketball Close up 260x260 Image

Signed Jersey Pricing

Active Listings for Kobe Bryant Signed Jerseys

Kobe Bryant Signed Jersey 260x260 Image  Kobe Bryant Signed Jersey Close up 260x260 Image

Signed Shoe Pricing

Active Listings for Kobe Bryant Signed Shoes

Kobe Bryant Signed Shoes 260x260 Image  Kobe Bryant Signed Shoes Close up 260x260 Image

Signed Photograph Pricing

Active Listings for Kobe Bryant Signed Photographs

Kobe Bryant Signed Photo 260x260 Image  Kobe Bryant Signed Photo Closeup 260x260 Image

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Kobe Bryant Jersey auto signed Lakers 5 Champion Ship Rings (DNA PSA)
$399.99
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KOBE BRYANT,VINCE CARTER JSA COA SIGNED 8X10 PHOTO
$300.00
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Kobe Bryant Signed Jersey Number # 8 Full Signature Psa Dna Lakers bold Auto
$229.99
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Kobe Bryant Signed jersey psa dna yellow LA Lakers #8 Auto Full Signature
$399.99
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Kobe Bryant Signed jersey psa dna purple LA Lakers #8 bold Auto Full Signature
$399.99
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Kobe Bryant Signed Original Hand Painted Lakers #8 Jersey Auto 1 1 PSA DNA
$799.99
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Kobe Bryant Signed 2001 NBA Finals Leather game Basketball PSA DNA full auto
$499.99
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Kobe Bryant Lakers signed auto official basketball PSA coa Read How Rare!!!
$399.99
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Kobe Bryant Signed Spalding Basketball Full Name Rare Auto Sig Lakers PSA DNA
$329.99
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Kobe Bryant Hand Signed Autographed Los Angeles Lakers Jersey PSA DNA B10398
$379.99
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Kobe Bryant Hand Signed Autographed LA Lakers Jersey Custom Framed #8 PSA DNA
$499.99
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GARY PAYTON Autograph Auto HOF Sonics Signed 8x10 Photo w Kobe Bryant PSA DNA
$59.95
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KOBE BRYANT AUTOGRAPH AUTO SIGNED BASKETBALL NBA 8x10 PHOTO L A LAKERS PSA DNA
$299.99
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Kobe Bryant Autographed 2000 UD Game Used Jersey Auto On Card Signed UDA BGS PSA
$225.00
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Kobe Bryant Magic Johnson Shaquille ONeal signed 16x20 Photo PSA DNA
$1,999.99
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KOBE BRYANT MAGIC JOHNSON Signed Auto Autograph BASKETBALL PSA PANINI AUTHENTIC
$1,999.99
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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 260x260 Image    Kobe Bryant Olympic Jersey 260x260 Image  Kobe Bryant Purple Jersey 260x260 Image  Kobe Bryant Shoes 260x193 Image

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 260x279 Image   Kobe Bryant Bobblehead1 260x300 Image

Kobe Bryant Enterbay 260x260 Image  Kobe Bryant Funko 260x211 Image

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 236x300 Image   Kobe Bryant FatHead 260x263 Image


 |  E-Mail Author | 
Trey Treutel is an Ole Miss grad and a life-long sports fanatic. He is a huge fan of the NBA and NFL, as well as college basketball and 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

    Leave a Comment: