A pair of basketball shoes gifted by Kobe Bryant to a teenage LeBron James 19 years ago are auction block this weekend.
Heritage Auctions is selling the red, white and blue Adidas sneakers in its Platinum Night Auction where they’re expect to bring a strong five or possibly six-figure price. The shoes are among the earliest LeBron gamers ever to reach the market.
James was then the nation’s top high school prospect and geography created the meeting between the two icons.
“I think my most fond moment is he gave me his shoes when I was in high school,” James said in the wake of Bryant’s death last year. “I think I was playing in a tournament in Teaneck, N.J., and they were playing in the  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].
“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.”
The shoes created for Bryant by Adidas were created in a red, white and blue theme following the September 11 attacks. Bryant wore a pair in the Lakers’ season opener seven weeks later. Another owned by a former shoe executive sold a few years ago through Goldin Auctions. They carry Bryant’s Mamba silhouette on the insoles.
Photos from that game on February 10,2002 are a match with the shoes being offered by Heritage, whose consignor indicated they were acquired at an estate sale in James’ hometown of Akron, OH.
James scored 36 points in the too-small shoes he’d been gifted by Bryant. Rivals on the court during their years in the NBA, the two would team up in 2008, leading the U.S. men’s team to an Olympic gold medal in Beijing.