Remembering Kobe Bryant and His Legacy Through Basketball Cards

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Like everyone else hearing of Kobe Bryant’s death, I’m in shock right now. For two decades on the court, he was the ultimate competitor. He was a champion. Internationally, he helped grow the sport of basketball and basketball cards like few — if any — have. But more than that, he was a father. A husband. A son.

As a collector, in times like these, I look through cards as a form of grieving in my own ways. I search out ones that have moments I remember or represent the athlete in some way.

Here are some Kobe Bryant cards that show Bryant’s game and the greatness he commanded on the court.

1996-97 SP #134

1996-97 UD3 #19

1997-98 Metal Universe #81

1997-98 Ultra #1

1998-99 SkyBox Premium Mod Squad #4

1998-99 UD Choice #197

2000-01 Fleer Focus Arena Vision #11

2000-01 Topps Combos #TC1

2000-01 Upper Deck #187

2002-03 Upper Deck UD Superstars #119

2012-13 Panini Kobe Anthology #114 (81-point game)

2012-13 Panini Prizm USA Basketball #7

2016-17 Select #293

2017-18 Hoops #300 (final game)

2018-19 Donruss Optic All Heart #19

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Ryan Cracknell

A collector for much of his life, Ryan focuses primarily on building sets, Montreal Expos and interesting cards. He's also got one of the most comprehensive collections of John Jaha cards in existence (not that there are a lot of them). Got a question, story idea or want to get in touch? You can reach him by email and through Twitter @tradercracks.

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5 comments

  1. Justin @ Duval Sports Cards 26 January, 2020 at 17:49

    I’m heart broken by Kobe’s passing. Thank you for putting this article together.

  2. Michael Prger 26 January, 2020 at 22:16

    Kobe was all for me and his Cards!!!!!
    I still dont understand why he is dead!!!!
    There was so much he could do for the rest of his life to inspire other people to do anything inside the game of basketball!!!!!
    He derserved so much to come to the hall of fame and now he wont even have a chance to enjoy that ore enjoy it with his love ones!!!!!!
    I will never understand for the rest of my life why he is dead!!!
    It does not make any sense because he derserved so much more then that!!!!!!!!!
    I have collected for 24 years on his Cards and I will collect even more now when he is dead!!!!!!
    My love for you Kobe Bryant and your Cards for the rest of my life!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Best regardless Me= Michael Præger!!!
    My email is= Praeger01@hotmail.com

  3. Richard 28 January, 2020 at 12:57

    Right now the prices on his cards have gone stupid.
    I have to wonder what the prices will be when thing calm down again.
    I’m expecting his hard signed autos to stay up higher, but his other cards to fall back down
    to earth, though likely higher than they were.

    I’m a bit worried that we will see a flood of “reprints” hit the market to fill demand.

  4. Ernest Owens Jr 28 January, 2020 at 19:43

    I have a bunch of basketball cards of different players even rare Kobe Bryant cards but don’t know how to see how much they are all worth.. how can I find out the worth of these rare cards I’ve been collecting since 5th grade

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