Kobe Bryant Sues Mother Over Attempt To Auction Off Early Mementos Left In Family Home

233px-Kobe_Bryant_Washington220px-Mothers-day-posterNow for our Mother’s Day story. There is an interesting property case out of New Jersey where Kobe Bryant is suing his mother, Pamela Bryant, to keep her from selling mementos from his early years at an auction. His mom says that he told her that the items were hers when he left them in his old room. He says that she is lying about ownership and wants to stop an auction despite the fact that she has received $450,000. At least he didn’t try self-help like some other famous or infamous athletes.

The mementos are from his high school and early professional basketball career. It is undisputed that he left the items in his room in the house in New Jersey. His mother insists that he made an oral statement that what was left in her home was hers. As a back up, she could argue abandonment. The New Jersey code states:

46:30C-4. Claiming of lost property.

4. a. A person may claim lost property only after making reasonable efforts to return the property to its owner.

b. If the owner of the lost property does not reclaim it within 120 days of the commencement of reasonable efforts to return it:

(1) The owner of the premises where the property was found may claim title to buried or hidden lost property or to lost property which a trespasser found;

(2) The finder of the property may claim title to lost property in other cases.

c. If the owner of the premises or finder does not claim the lost property, and an action is not pending to determine rights to the property:

(1) Marketable property shall be sold by the clerk of the municipality in which it is located and the proceeds, less costs of sale shall be transmitted to the administrator of the “Uniform Unclaimed Property Act (1981)” (R.S.46:30B-1 et seq.), for deposit in the Unclaimed Personal Property Trust Fund established pursuant to the provisions of R.S.46:30B-74;

(2) Non-marketable property may be treated as abandoned.

Bryant says that his mother admitted to him that the mementos were his and that he never gave her permission to sell them. In a filing, he told the federal court “I confronted her about her false statement that I had given my memorabilia to her . . . I said to her, ‘Mom, you know I never told you that you could have the memorabilia.’ Her response was, ‘Yes, but you never said you wanted it, either.'”

Goldin Auctions is selling various items including two championship rings that Bryant gave his parents after the Lakers won the 2000 title and his 1996 Pennsylvania high school championship ring and sweat suits from Lower Merion High.

With a net worth of $200 million and annual income of some $52 million, it is not clear why he doesn’t fork over the cash to get rid of his Mom and her claim. However, his relationship with his Mom and Dad (“Jellybean Bryant”) is described as icy.

It is nothing like court filings to lay the foundation for a Mother’s Day dinner. Since she is a represented party, does counsel have to be present for the obligatory phone call to Mom? At a minimum, any flowers should be accompanied by an express statement that “this floral gift is not intended and should not be construed as an admission or concession in any pending or planned litigation against the recipient.” Indeed, if Kobe leaves the flowers at the house, can that be used as evidence of past conduct and understandings about the presumed ownership over left or abandoned items?

Source: LA Times

20 thoughts on “Kobe Bryant Sues Mother Over Attempt To Auction Off Early Mementos Left In Family Home

  1. “Gosh Mom, I didn’t know that I was going to become famous and that this stuff might have some real $$$$ value”. That famous greed. Amazing what some people will do for a few more bucks.
    Or does he hate his mother and just wants to embarass her? Like you said he could just hand her the dollars & pay her for storing it all these years.
    What next? Is he going to lay claim to the bedroom he slept in?

  2. Too funny! However, whatever happen to taking care (at least financially) of Mom & Dad, especially if your making $52 million a year? She wouldn’t have to do this, Kobe, if you gave her at least a $1 million a year to help her out? Notice the story never mentions if Kobe is doing this (before this incident).

    Moral of the story: Since our parents were there for us, we need to be there for them.

  3. Well, the rings are definitely property of her if he gave them to her… Everything else is a bit spotty.

  4. I understand that guys like this can start to feel like everyone wants to make a buck off them and resent it. But at some point – its your mom fer cripes sake! – you need to let it go. Maybe cut a deal & ‘buy’ the stuff from her.

  5. On the court I’m an unabashed Kobe fan. Off the court or in it, not so much. I have no idea of the family dynamic here but I suspect there is considerably more in dispute than some memorabilia. I feel for the judge having to untie this Gordian knot of legal claims and human emotions.

  6. Phil Jackson has said that on the court Jackson is uncoachable[translation: selfish]. I look upon this as simply a higher level of moms selling your baseball cards @ a garage sale in the early 80’s before anyone knew the value. In this case, the cards just included a Honus Wagner.

  7. I agre with Mespo on this. There is much more going on with the family dynamic, than with greed. I know little of Kobe’s rearing but I do know his father was an itinerant professional basketball player who played around the world after his NBA career ended. I think Kobe was named when his father played in Japan. His father was a mediocre at best NBA player and perhaps the son was groomed at an early age to play basketball. Kobe was so good as a teenager that he went to the NBA after High School. I don’t know if the family saw his pro success as a ticket to the gravy train and he resented it. Kobe’s professional persona is not particularly likable, yet he is unarguably one of the best basketball players ever. Since I hate the LA Lakers, I’ve never liked Kobe, yet in this I wouldn’t rush to judgment against him. As Mespo said this will be a hard one for the Judge.

  8. There is something here that does not meet the smell test. Hopefully the court will sort it out. This family dynamic is clearly not healthy. Kobe makes a lot of money from salary, bonuses and endorsements. How come she feels she needs to raise money by selling his stuff? I read all the time of big time sports stars helping keep their parents comfortable. One of the biggest stars in the NFL is from here, and he is an excellent citizen of the community to this day. This is a curious case. A follow-up story once this shakes out is in order.

  9. We have very limited info. And, simply using my family as an example, they can be f@cked, to varying degrees. Here’s how I would initially assess this case. His longtime coach calls him uncoachable[selfish]. Although one of the greatest of all time, his selfish play has hurt his team over the years. Off the court, he was selfish @ best for betraying his wedding vows, a rapist @ worst. I know..never convicted so let’s just keep it to being selfish and humiliating his wife, then buying her a big ring. We always look for villians and heroes, but rarely are there. What makes everyone so sure this selfish man has been generous to the mother who raised him? Now, maybe he has been. Maybe mom is a b!tch. If I’ve learned anything in my career and personal life it’s most often a little of this and little of that. I’ll lean toward mom on this one, but wanting to see all the evidence.

  10. What a family !

    I don’t believe Kobe has standing to claim the property, abandonment is certainly the true test in my book.

  11. What a wonderful sentiment for Mothers Day on Sunday! I have always considered Kobe a creep and it looks like the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree.

  12. My question would be this: At what point does junk left at home by a child who has moved out become ‘mementos’? When they become NBA ‘stars’? My next door neighbor has a room full of junk (old clothes, videos, stuffed animals, etc) that his three children left at home when they moved out years ago. He is always complaining about the stuff (which he has moved from the origional family home at least twice) but says he keeps the stuff just because one day the kids (ALL of whom are in their late twenties to mid thirties) “might want some of this back” (although he’s told them several times that it is time for them to come get the stuff or tell him he can take it to Goodwill). IMHO, if a child leaves these ‘mementos’ at their parents home YEARS after thay have grown up and left the home themselves, the parents ought to have the right to dispose of the items in any way they see fit. It’s no longer the children’s ‘home’, or does this become some form of bailment? Why should there be an expectation that the parents will continue to take care of this junk and move it around forever?

  13. If your kid doesn’t take his crap when he moves out, he just has to suck it up. He abandoned this stuff, and it’s her’s to do with as she pleases. If he wanted it, he should have taken it when he moved out. Otherwise, it’s taking up valuable real estate within the home.

  14. I have tons of stuff belonging to my kids in the attic. If either one of them becomes famous or infamous, I’ll sell. If not, they’re stuck with cleaning it all out when I’m gone. Either way, I win.

  15. As much as I dislike Kobe, since Shaq left the Lakers, he does not deserve this. However, I feel his Parents deserve to live a comfortable life and be able to afford to anything, anytime they want to do in their golden years.

    If they wanted or needed money bad enough to do this, there is a problem with the dynamics of their relationship that caused them not to feel comfortable to ask their son for money or more money to live the lifestyle inwhich, they feel entitled to in their twighlight years.

    I feel they are entitle to live a great lifestyle, being that his father may not have gone as far Kobe did in the NBA, but he mentored Kobe at an early age and without him I do not think Kobe would be the great basketball player that he is todaywithout his support.

    When Kobe got the 200 million dollar deal, as some reports states, he should have gave 10 % in tithes, 1% to his Parents and let them live on that and that could last them lifetimes. He is selfish. Have they mismanaged a lot of money, I do not know, but it is clearly obvious, that they want more financial freedom.

    When Kobe betrayed his marital vows, that effected his Parents as well. They had to live with the disgrace and all of the whispers, everywhere they went about what he had done. He impacts their lives whatever he does, whether it is good or bad.

    However, I feel that those mementos should stay in the family and his children and grandchildren should have them. What his mom is doing is wrong and he should give her a couple of millions of the 52 millions annually that he is receiving, they are his Parents and that is the bottom line and they deserve a great life that he is providing for a wife, that could leave him anytime and have the law of adultery on her side.

    I feel that his wife if just buying time and eventually will leave him and take
    half of all he has and who will he have left, but his family for love and support, So this is a fine line he is about to cross and I hope that he does right by them, since it has gotten to this point and become so public.

    But if they are leaches and trying to bleed him after he has given the enough to last them the rest of there lives, then fight them to the end, but make sure they are debt free and set up an allotment for them leaches of $5,000.00, per month, then walk away. Don’t do to them, what your mom is doing to you, if you know that they could use a little more money to live well.

    Because in the end they are your Parents and are the reason you are where you are today.

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