UPDATE: To find out the reason for the all-white Air Jordan 3 and Air Jordan 8 in the auction lot, we reached out to Heritage Auctions for some clarification. They had also picked up on the discrepancy as part of their verification of this one-of-a-kind collection of Jays.
According to the auction house, the AJ3 and AJ8 pairs featuring Lakers accents had been substituted into the collection for public display purposes. As you may have noticed through social media at the time of Kobe's retirement, a number of influential figures received a special two-pack featuring this special PE-inspired duo. The actual pairs gifted to Kobe were all-white, though we are sure he's got the real PEs stashed away. As for how this pack came to be auctioned off, we can't comment on that, though it sounds like you can rest assured that this is the real deal!
If you're a die-hard Kobe fan, huge Jordan head and you've got money to blow, make sure you head on over to Heritage Auctions when bidding goes live on May 22. The auction ends on June 11. Good luck!
Being regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time certainly has its perks. When Kobe Bryant hung up his Lakers jersey for the last time in 2016, the accolades came flowing in. Over at Jordan Brand, the Jumpman crew created two one-of-a-kind sets of Air Jordans from the AJ1 through to the AJXXX to commemorate the occasion – one set in black and one set in white. Both sets were produced to suit Bryant's size 14 feet. While the white pack was personally gifted to Bryant, the black set was auctioned off to raise money for the Kobe & Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation, reaching a staggering USD $240,100 by the time the hammer fell!
We hope Michael Jordan wasn't actually thinking that Bryant would keep his set stashed away for life, because they have just been listed for auction... or at least it seems that way. Described by Heritage Auctions, who are facilitating the sale, as the 'Kobe Retirement Pack (Gifted by Jordan)', the auction lot includes Air Jordan silhouettes 1 through XXX, all in size 14 and constructed from crispy white leather. While it would be easy to assume that this is the very same set gifted to Bryant by Jordan Brand in 2016, the Air Jordan 3 and Air Jordan 8 in that set were shown to feature purple and yellow accents for the Lakers. What does this mean? We're not 100 percent sure at this stage, but until extra information is announced, buyer beware!
To view the auction lot in detail, head on over to Heritage Auctions. However, with an estimated sale price of $200,000, this is perhaps one set we'll all need to appreciate from afar.
– Originally published May 1, 2017