Basketball superstar Kobe Bryant claims he never gave his mom his stuff let alone permission to sell it.
The Lower Merion native says in a court filing that he never gave his mother permission to sell mementos from his high school days and early professional basketball career.
Bryant is in a court battle over whether hundreds of items can be auctioned off by Berlin, N.J.-based Goldin Auctions.
Kobe Bryant's lawyer Mark Campbell said in a statement, "Mr. Bryant's personal property has ended up in the possession of someone who does not lawfully own it. We look forward to resolving this legal matter through the legal system."
Pamela Bryant says the NBA star told her the memorabilia was hers. She arranged earlier this year to auction it off and received a $450,000 advance.
Bryant's lawyer sent a cease-and-desist letter telling the auction house to call off the sale and return the items to him. Goldin Auctions released this statement to NBC10:
Goldin Auctions, LLC, is taking necessary and appropriate legal action in U.S. District Court (Case No. 13-2816) to allow the business to move forward with its planned auction, including the items that are the subject of this action. The items at issue were legally obtained by Goldin Auctions after being approached by Pamela Bryant, who provided certificates of authenticity and attested in a sworn affidavit to their lawful ownership. Goldin Auctions has already issued a substantial monetary advance for these items and is only interested in proceeding with its legal right to conduct its business without further interference.
In a filing Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Camden, Kobe Bryant says that in a phone conversation with his mother last week that she agreed that he never gave her the memorabilia and then said that he never expressed an interest to keep the things either.
In the filing, Kobe Bryant says “I never told my mother that she could have my personal property, let alone consign it for sale by public auction. In fact, several years ago, while visiting my parents’ home in Philadelphia, my wife and I specifically requested that my mother return the property so that I may give it to my own children.”
Bryant’s wife Vanessa also declares in the filings that she and her husband had asked Pamela Bryant for the items for their kids.
Bryant says that the only items that actually belong to his mother are two NBA Championship rings he made for his parents.
He also says he is unsure how a trophy he last saw in his own home wound up in an advertisement for the “Kobe Bryant Collection” auction.
Kobe Bryant says his mother acknowledged to him recently that she did not have permission to sell the items.
Other tidbits from the filing include Bryant mentioning his many professional accolades like winning “5 NBA championships, 2 NBA Finals Most Value Player awards, an NBA Most Valuable Player award, two NBA scoring titles, and I have been selected to the NBA All-Star team 15 times” and a full list of the 54 items up for sale including a Teen Choice Award, Lower Merion jerseys and signed All-Star Game ball.