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    LeBron's most treasured memory of Kobe!

    2002 LeBron James High School Game Worn Sneakers Gifted by Kobe Bryant--Photo Matched!

    UPDATE: These sneakers are now accompanied by letter from Resolution Photomatching that matches them to photography from LeBron James' high school game on February 10, 2002.


    "I think my most fond moment is he gave me his shoes when I was in high school," James said, "I think I was playing in a tournament in Teaneck, N.J., and they were playing in the [2002] All-Star game in Philly. And I had an opportunity to go meet him, and he gave me a pair of his shoes, and I actually wore them in a game against Oak Hill, against Melo [Carmelo Anthony], actually."

    It's hard to believe it's already been a year since a helicopter carrying Kobe Bryant and others crashed into a fog-shrouded mountain near Los Angeles, leaving no survivors. As the global sporting world reeled with the tragedy, few felt the pain more deeply than LeBron James, a man who shared with the fallen legend elite talent, single-minded determination and the unlikely transition directly from high school to the highest court in the land, the National Basketball Association.

    In the painful aftermath of that heartbreaking loss, James spoke with great reverence of his dear friend, wistfully recalling their first meeting when Bryant gifted the custom sneakers to the young phenom.

    "He gave me a pair of shoes that I ended up wearing the following night," James told ESPN. "It was the red-white-and-blue Kobes," James said. "I was a 15 and he was a 14, and I wore them anyway, and I sat and just talked to him for a bit. He gave me the shoes and I rocked them in the game."

    James was brilliant in defeat in that February 10, 2002 showdown against his fellow first-round draft pick, barely edging out Anthony in scoring by a margin of thirty-six to thirty-four with his feet squeezed into the custom sneakers presented here. The format would prove prescient, as Kobe and LeBron would finally join forces in 2008 to lead the USA Olympic Basketball Team to Gold in Beijing. More recently, as a parting gift to Bryant, James would lead the Los Angeles Lakers to the 2020 NBA Championship, posting an image on his Twitter feed after lofting the Larry O'Brien Trophy posing somberly with a Bryant jersey above the words, "Hope I made you proud my brother."

    The patriotic colorway displays the Stars & Stripes on the uppers, rubberized toe boxes, three-stripe motif on the midsoles/outer soles, Adidas on the inner tongues, and the Mamba silhouette on the insoles. The design was created to commemorate the loss of life in the recent 9/11 terror attacks. The custom shoes bear no interior tagging but exhibit fine game wear.

    Our consignor purchased these, and several other LeBron James items in this auction, from an estate sale in Akron, Ohio. Letter of provenance from consignor. LOA from Heritage Auctions. LOA from Resolution Photomatching.


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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2021
    27th-28th Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 48
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 13,543

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    Sold on Feb 27, 2021 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
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