With the end of the Kobe Bryant farewell tour, the collecting public now enters the era shrine building with signed photos, signed jerseys and signed basketballs. The product is plentiful in the foreseeable future. Then, there’s the “24 Collection.” One can only imagine that the Kardashian girls will have these on their Christmas list. Who wouldn’t want a lambskin jacket with Swarovski crystal detailing for $5,824. For a little accent item, add a black lambskin hat with an 18-karat gold “24” on the front for $38,248. It’s black to be consistent with Kobe’s “Black Mamba” nickname; and it’s lambskin because, well, you wouldn’t be caught in public in Los Angeles wearing anything below that standard. AEG Merchandise is the brains behind these concepts and pricing. (Someone must be working on knockoffs for the streets of New York as this is being written). Who says America ain’t great?
For Kobe, he’s getting the really good stuff. Remember when retiring players got rocking chairs, maybe some slippers or a car? That is so old school. The Lakers have something or some-bling more glitzy in mind. Kobe’s getting a retirement ring, not a mood ring, which might be more fitting, or a ring out of a gumball machine — those are extinct, ha ha.
Kobe’s getting a 14-karat yellow and white gold ring that features his name, his “Black Mamba” nickname, the Lakers logo, his two numbers, and a strip of snakeskin inside the ring. The LA LA Land Kobe ring isn’t the $4 million, 8-karat purple diamond “apology ring” given to wife Vanessa back in 2003.
This jewelry ingenuity comes from Jason Arasheben, CEO of Jason of Beverly Hills. The eye-popping detail on this ring is the constellation of 20 small, round diamonds on the face of the ring for his 20 seasons, plus five larger diamonds that represent his championships. It boasts a total weight of 4.87 carats in 70 grams of gold.
Play Music. . . . Ride off into sunset . . . . Dissolve to black . . . .