After a series of vintage Kobe Bryant items – including shoes, warm up gear, financial records and books – turned up in a California storage unit, fans who started tracking the story assumed that the buyer was about to turn an enormous profit on the open market. As it turns out, though, the memorabilia has been returned to the Bryant family, which is the appropriate and happiest resolution for all parties involved.
In case you hadn’t heard this story, Storage Wars stars Rene and Casey Nezhoda cashed in on a valuable find when they were tipped off to the discovery of a storage unit loaded with gear that seemingly belonged to the late NBA superstar Kobe Bryant. Nezhoda admits to paying $13,000 for the rights to the unit (and the merchandise), but TMZ Sports now reports that the professional bidder is turning the bulk of the material over to Bryant’s widow, Vanessa.
He tells TMZ:
Everything has been worked out. A number of personal items, worn items, and paperwork were sold directly back to the Bryant family.
The site reports that Kobe Bryant’s family reached out to Rene and Casey Nezhoda in hopes of attaining the memorabilia that belonged to the late basketball player. The storage unit reportedly contained 35 pairs of sneakers, five pieces of Los Angeles Lakers warm up gear, books that had been loaned to the NBA legend, financial paperwork, and a mink coat that the athlete had worn in a photo shoot.
Without question, Rene Nezhoda planned to turn around and sell that merchandise for a hefty profit. The couple specialize in finding rare merchandise, then succeeding in locating buyers for valuable goods obtained by grabbing up abandoned storage units. In a video that they released at the time of the sale, it was made clear that the Kobe Bryant items were not going to appear on Storage Wars, primarily because the show is not filming episodes at the moment. They also made it very clear up front that the storage unit did not BELONG to Kobe Bryant, but belonged to a reality television co-star who did fashion work for Kobe and Vanessa Bryant.
But now, thanks to this new report, TMZ is letting fans know that the Nezhodas have agreed to get the merchandise back in the hands of the Bryant family, and that’s a significant and compassionate step for the bargain hunters. While I totally understand that the couple did nothing wrong in obtaining the storage unit and the authentic Lakers gear that was inside, the family should have the first right of refusal to retrieve the items that belonged to Kobe Bryant.
Rene Nezhoda did not reveal how much money that he received from Vanessa Bryant, per terms of their agreement. TMZ does note that this was not about turning a profit for Nezhoda, and the site reports that he was able to keep a few items that likely were not worn by Kobe Bryant, such as shoes and shirts, and that Nezhoda will try and turn a profit on the open market with that gear.