With friends and fans celebrating the life of Kobe Bryant this week, a cast member of A&E’s ‘Storage Wars’ now claims to have discovered a treasure trove of the Lakers legend’s personal memorabilia in a unit that recently sold at auction for just $375.
The storage unit purportedly contained 35 pairs of shoes, practice gear, a laminated credential with Bryant’s nickname, Mamba, and even a mink coat.
Rene Nezhoda, who regularly appears on the A&E reality show, revealed his latest find on YouTube because ‘Storage Wars’ production is on hiatus amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Nezhoda claims that the unit belonged to Bryant’s former stylist Derek Roche. However, a spokeswoman for Roche told the Daily Mail that her client had nothing to do with the unit. It remains unclear who owned the unit before it went to auction.
Speaking with the Daily Mail, Nezhoda said he has been in touch with Bryant family attorneys and is confident the items belonged to Kobe. Nezhoda went on to say he’s returning some of the items to Bryant’s widow Vanessa at her request.
The revelation of the storage unit came as Bryant’s friends, family, and fans have come together in recent days to honor his memory.
Bryant, who would have turned 42 on Sunday, died along with his 12-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others in a helicopter crash along the California coast in January. Furthermore, Monday marked an Orange County (California) holiday in Bryant’s honor, since the date, 8/24, happens to be the two jersey numbers he wore with the Lakers.
Video courtesy of Bargainhuntersthrift
‘Storage Wars’ typically centers on the auctioning of mysterious storage lockers, which went up for sale when the owners stopped paying their bill. In this case, another buyer put down $375 for the unit before flipping its contents to Nezhoda for $13,000.
Although the items are still waiting to be authenticated, Nezhoda seems sure of their authenticity and expects to triple his investment.
Nezhoda claims he’s already been in touch with Bryant’s widow Vanessa to see if she would like to have the kids jerseys and sneakers returned that presumably belonged to her four daughters.
Nezhoda went on to say there are even more items from the unit that he’s currently negotiating to purchase.
‘The 2 huge Wardrobe boxes that we didn’t get to see that appeared to have bedding in them had more stuff on the bottom half of them,’ Nezhoda wrote on YouTube. ‘Some of the items include several pairs of Sean John Sunglasses that probably belonged to him directly since he works for bad Boy Entertainment , 5 pieces of Kobe Warms ups all used , couple of more pairs of shoes , another nice fur jacket , Versace Shoes Owned and Used by LITTLE KIM super BLING BLING LOOKING and a bunch more of Brand New Designer Clothes !’
If Nezhoda is going to get that memorabilia, however, he will need to fork over more money.
‘The seller increased his asking price to $26,000 for that stuff so we will see if we can work out a deal,’ he wrote.
Many around the country honored Bryant on his birthday, including the Los Angeles Dodgers, who all warmed up before their game while wearing his Lakers replica jerseys.
Meanwhile WNBA star Diana Taurasi wore a jersey with his name and No. 8 while scoring a season-high 34 points during the team’s win over Washington on Sunday.
‘When you do something like that, you can’t not give that Kobe effort,’ Taurasi told reporters afterwards. ‘When I got to the game I was like, `Is this the right thing to do?’ Once I put it on there was only one way to play. I’m not talking about scoring points, I’m talking about loving basketball and competing and putting that effort that he taught me by watching him.’
Bryant and Gianna were both WNBA fans, and Bryant had even dubbed Taurasi the ‘White Mamba.’
‘It’s a bittersweet moment. We celebrate him but still mourn him.,’ Taurasi said. ‘We mourn him, Gigi everyone on that helicopter. We lost a lot that day. We’ll continue to do so that Kobe, Gigi and his family are honored the right way.’
On Monday, Los Angeles City Council president Herb J. Wesson Jr. announced a street near Staples Center would be named after Bryant.
‘Figueroa St. will soon be Kobe Bryant Blvd. between Olympic & MLK,’ Wesson said.