- Darren Rovell, ESPN.com Sports Business reporter
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The Kobe Bryant memorabilia saga has ended with an apology from the Los Angeles Lakers guard's parents and a settlement that allows less than 10 percent of the items originally intended for sale to be auctioned.
Bryant and a company that was auctioning off the memorabilia reached a deal one week before the two sides were due to go to trial in New Jersey. The agreement allows the sale of six items, which Goldin Auctions president Ken Goldin told ESPN.com on Monday morning he is confident still can sell for more than $500,000 combined.
Bryant's parents, who had contracted with Goldin to sell the items, apologized in a written statement.
"We regret our actions and statements related to the Kobe Bryant auction memorabilia," Joe and Pamela Bryant said in the statement provided by a publicist. "We apologize for any misunderstanding and unintended pain we have caused our son and appreciate the financial support he has provided over the years. We also apologize to Goldin Auctions for their inadvertent involvement in this matter and thank them for their assistance."
When Bryant learned last month that Goldin was planning on selling the items consigned to the company by his mother, Pamela, he sued the company. Goldin then filed its own lawsuit that maintained that Pamela was the owner of the items, revealing that the company had already given her an advance of $450,000 to pay for a new home for Bryant's father, Joe, and herself in Las Vegas.
While Goldin said he wasn't free to divulge the terms of the settlement, what is clear is that approximately 90 percent of what previously was being offered has been pulled off the table, though the remaining ones are some of the most highly coveted items.
Goldin said he is happy with the resolution.
"We're offering very rare Kobe Bryant memorabilia," Goldin said. "And for many of these items, this is the only place you'll ever see things like this."
Included in the auction will be two of Bryant's high school uniforms and two rings celebrating the 2000 Lakers championship team that were gifted at the time to Bryant's parents. The ring gifted to his father, Joe, Goldin notes, comes in the same size as the ring presented to Kobe (11½).
For some items, including Bryant's 2000 NBA All-Star ring, half the winning bid will be donated to charity, Goldin said. When reached, Kobe Bryant said he would have no comment on the resolution.
Bidding will start June 17 and close July 19. The auction also includes what Goldin says is the only existing bat from Jackie Robinson's 1949 MVP-winning season.
The Kobe Bryant memorabilia saga ended with an apology from the Los Angeles guard's parents and a settlement that allows less than 10 percent of the items originally intended for sale to be auctioned.