The Black Mamba has a cold, cold heart…
For years, Pamela Bryant kept asking her son: Do you still want all this stuff that I’m keeping for you – your old basketball jerseys, your sports awards, your high school trophies?
And for years, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court in Camden on Thursday, the son, now 34, was content to let it all sit around at the house.
Until Pamela Bryant, Kobe Bryant’s mother, wanted to auction it off for an expected $1.5 million so she could use the money to buy a house in Nevada.
That’s when the Los Angeles Lakers shooting star (and Lower Merion High School basketball phenomenon) put the brakes on the idea, sending a cease-and-desist letter to the auctioneer, Goldin Auctions L.L.C. of West Berlin.
The 42 items of merchandise, which include several Lower Merion uniforms worn by the player and two 2000 Lakers Championship rings designed for his parents, were to go up for auction in June, each authenticated as genuine by Pamela Bryant.
Sounds like Mama Bryant has been planning this little get-rich-quick scheme for a few years now.
According to the lawsuit, Pamela Bryant had been storing some of her son’s memorabilia for at least 15 years – his high school uniform shorts and jerseys date back to 1994 and there’s even a Sonny Hill League Future Stars Champion trophy from 1992, when he was still in middle school.
Seven or eight years ago, well after Kobe had gotten married, Pamela Bryant asked her son’s wife, Vanessa, if she wanted the items. She said no – those items belonged to the past, according to the suit.
And so, five years ago, the lawsuit says, Pamela Bryant packed up the jerseys, the championship rings, and award plaques, spending $1,500 a month to store and insure them in West Berlin.
“Pamela Bryant indicated to Ken Goldin that Kobe Bryant has never demanded the return of any of the items, nor were they in any way taken from [him] without his permission,” the suit says.
Mother and son haven’t always been close. According to reports, Kobe Bryant’s parents, who are African American, didn’t attend his wedding because they thought at 21 he was too young and because his wife is not black. But like most disapproving parents, they came around with the birth of a grandchild, a girl.
Things might get even more dicey because according to the lawsuit Kobe’s mom has already been paid $450,000 in advance of the sale and has used that money to put down on her Nevada dream home.
Money and family just don’t mix. SMH
Image via AP