NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Kobe Bryant reached a settlement with a New Jersey auction house that allows his mother sell a small amount of his memorabilia, while also getting an apology from his parents, who thanked him for his financial support.
Kenneth Goldin, founder of southern New Jersey-based Goldin Auctions, said Monday that his company and the Los Angeles Lakers star had reached a settlement. Through a publicist, an attorney for Bryant also confirmed the dispute had been resolved.
Citing a confidentiality agreement, Goldin wouldn't discuss details of the settlement beyond identifying the six items to be auctioned, including two uniforms worn by Bryant at Lower Merion High School outside Philadelphia and two 2000 NBA championship rings Bryant gave to his parents.
Goldin Auctions sued in federal court last month after Bryant's lawyers wrote the company telling it to cancel a planned auction of close to 100 items. The Los Angeles Lakers star claimed his mother, Pamela, didn't have the right to sell the items. Bryant also filed suit against the auction company in California. A trial had been scheduled to begin next week.
Under the settlement, Goldin also will sell Bryant's 2000 NBA All-Star game ring and his medallion and ribbon from Magic's Roundball Classic, a high school all-star game.
In an emailed statement, Bryant's parents wrote: "We regret our actions and statements related to the Kobe Bryant auction memorabilia. We apologize for any misunderstanding and unintended pain we may have caused our son and appreciate the financial support that he has provided to us over the years. We also would like to apologize to Goldin Auctions for their inadvertent involvement in this matter and thank them for their assistance."
Goldin said auction prices can be difficult to predict but that he thinks the high school uniforms and the All-Star Game ring will fetch the highest prices. He expects the items to go for $100,000 to $250,000 each. The auction is scheduled to run from June 17 to July 19.
"We are very happy it settled and we are happy with the items," Goldin said. "If I'd looked at the list from the beginning and picked nine items I wanted to get my hands on, I've got five of them."
Bryant jumped from high school straight to the NBA in 1996 and has won five championships with the Lakers, most recently in 2010. His father, Joe, played eight seasons in the NBA with Philadelphia, San Diego and Houston.
The settlement was first reported by ESPN.com.