There’s no such thing as complete down time for elite pro athletes, but summer is as close as it gets for Kobe Bryant. Last week, he found time to sign hundreds of cards for Panini America’s upcoming National Treasures and Elite Black Box insert cards
Brian Bayne, Panini’s Memorabilia Business Manager, is the guy who rounds up autographs from Panini pitchmen like Bryant, Blake Griffin and Kevin Durant, and the company says he kept Kobe busy over parts of two days, signing some of what will be the better pulls in the products.
Panini and Bryant are locked in a legal dispute with a southern California memorabilia outlet over autographs, but Panini’s exclusive contract leaves no doubt whose hand is behind these cards.
Every box of the recently released National Treasures product contains a combination of six Autographs or Memorabilia Cards, one Common numbered to 99, and one Legend/Rookie/Parallel or Insert, with boxes selling for a little over $400.