The Los Angeles Lakers took the court for the first time since Kobe Bryant‘s tragic death, and after thousands of fans were given mementos honoring the legendary star, many took to eBay to begin listing them online for hundreds of dollars.
Shortly after the Los Angeles Lakers lost to the Portland Trailblazers 119 – 127, multiple listings began appearing on eBay for the Kobe Bryant tribute jersey shirt that was gifted to every fan attending the game at the STAPLES Center.
“Kobe Bryant 8 & 24 LA Lakers Tribute Game Shirt Jersey,” many of the listings read.
As part of the Kobe Bryant memorial on Friday, every single fan was given a jersey shirt with Bryant’s initials and either the #8 or #24, the two numbers he wore during his storied 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers.
The merch quickly racked up bids from users, with some of the listings skyrocketing above $500 for one shirt. Although many were interested in getting the coveted giveaway, others apparently thought the online sale was tasteless.
It seems at least one of the sellers felt the heat from some of Kobe’s fans who felt the listing was disrespectful, and later took to eBay to add a note about where the profits will be going.
“I’m sorry if any of you feel that I’m a ‘scum’ for selling, but I have to make a living. That’s why I’m donating 10% of every listing sold price to the Kobe and Vanessa foundation. I also have quite a few because my family went to the game on 1/31/20. I’m personally keeping one, while selling the others. No, I will not provide a buy price. I’m letting bidders decide their own value. Thank you for understanding.”
The Los Angeles Lakers [put on a beautiful tribute])(https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/28610509/lebron-james-caps-kobe-celebration-staples-stirring-speech) for Kobe Bryant, which was filled with performances by Usher and Boyz II Men, as well as cellist Ben Hong. Afterward, LeBron James got up to address the crowd and spoke from the heart, as he ditched his notes right before his speech.
“I look at this as a celebration tonight. This is a celebration of the 20 years of the blood, the sweat, the tears, the broken-down body, the getting up, the sitting down, the everything. The countless hours, the determination to be as great as he could be. Tonight, we celebrate the kid that came here at 18 years of age, retired at 38 and became probably the best dad we’ve seen over the past three years, man.”
The emotions were running high and acknowledged by Vanessa Bryant, who posted a photo of both Kobe and Gianna’s jerseys that were displayed during the game.