This year has been difficult for many reasons, but one of the first tragedies of the year was the unfortunate death of Kobe Bryant.
While I may not have been a huge Kobe fan, I always respected his talent and the impact he made on the game. You could tell from his rookie season that he'd be a generational talent and would only improve as his career progressed. He never shied away from the big stage and thrived during clutch situations.
During the 2003-04 season, I was living in NY (about 1 hour north of NYC) and had purchased tickets to a few Knicks games. Not that I was a Knicks fan, but I wanted to see some of the better teams play. Usually I'd purchase 2 tickets to each game and bring one of my friends along with me. This was the season that Kobe, Shaq, Malone and Payton teamed up and formed one of the first "super teams". I had to find a way to see them in person, but there were no 2-tickets available. I had to do it, I bought a single ticket and went to the game by myself. THAT was how important it was to be able to see that team play.
During the 2005-06 season, my friend and I bought season tickets to the NJ Nets, and I was able to see Kobe play in person again. Unfortunately, I never got to see Michael Jordan play in person but I'm happy that I was able to see Kobe and many other NBA stars.
From a collection standpoint, I purchased this Kobe autograph at the first National that I attended. I paid $150 for it at the time, but I loved the Past & Present set and thought it was an awesome on-card autograph. I'm really proud of it. I also purchased two Kobe Bryant RC many years ago - the seller was having a sale where you got a % off if you purchased three cards. I bought the two Kobe RCs and I believe the third card was a Jason Kidd rookie card.
I'd love to hear about any Kobe Bryant cards in your collection, or if there is a Kobe Bryant card you're looking to add to your collection. Leave your comments below.