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It's a sad fact of life that any time a celebrity dies, the value of the things they owned / touched / had access to goes way up. From autographs to a wide array of personal effects, fans know that there will be nothing more to come from the famous person they admired and adored, so many of them are willing to pay a lot of money to have a piece of that person's history. Well, Storage Wars stars Rene and Casey Nezhoda have just found a collection of items which appear to have belonged to late basketball superstar and Oscar winner Kobe Bryant, and I'm sure many fans would love to get their hands on the property.
Rene and Casey Nezhoda own the San Diego, California store Bargain Hunters Thrift Store, and, as fans have seen across nine seasons of Storage Wars, they are very adept at buying abandoned storage units that lead them to some unexpected treasures. This time, the couple managed to luck into a stash of items which were likely used by the late Kobe Bryant, after getting a call from the original bidder who won the auction for the unit's items. As Nezhoda explained in a video on the couple's YouTube page for their business, that bidder ended up paying $375 for everything in the storage unit, but when the couple got wind of what was inside, they ponied up a cool $13,000 for it.
So, what was in the storage unit that the Nezhodas thought it was actually Kobe Bryant gear? Among the many items inside were 35 pairs of shoes, five pieces of L.A. Lakers warm up clothing (which they believe were all used), jerseys and an all-access badge with "MAMBA" written on it, which was the nickname Bryant gave to himself as a way to help separate his professional and personal lives. The unit also held financial paperwork, some books which appear to have been gifted to Bryant, and two fur coats, one of which is believed to have been worn by Bryant in some photos.
Some of the things in the storage unit are unworn and still have tags on them, but, lest you think Bryant was hoarding clothes he never planned to wear, it turns out that the unit likely didn't really belong to the famed b-ball player, who died tragically in late January at 41 (along with his 13-year-old daughter GiGi, and several others) after a helicopter crash. After getting a look at the goods, the Nezhodas believe that the storage unit actually belonged to celebrity stylist Derek Roche and his assistant Antron Oliver, though TMZ reports that Roche's representative says that's untrue.
Apparently, the winner of the items knew that Rene Nezhoda, in particular, is skilled at finding buyers for valuable storage treasures, and after finally getting a chance to see what was inside, spoke to him about taking the cache off of his hands. While the things which were found inside have yet to be fully authenticated, it's expected that once that happens, each of the items will be sold for quite a bit of money.
The Nezhodas also found plenty of items which lend some credence to the idea that some celeb stylist, if not Roche, did own the storage unit, including a lot of unworn designer clothing and accessories, as well as Versace shoes they believe were owned and used by rapper Lil' Kim. Apparently, the original auction winner wants a total of $26,000 for everything which was in the storage unit, so time will tell if Rene and Casey Nezhoda come away with the entire haul.
Nezhoda said that none of the Kobe Bryant items will be shown on Storage Wars, mostly because the show isn't actually filming right now, so he'll sell the finds to a reputable auction house. He also noted that they have offered any items which seem to be personal to Kobe Bryant or the family in general to his widow, Vanessa, before they're sold off. You can see the full video of the find, below:
I'm sure that there will be plenty of Kobe Bryant fans who will keep an eye out for these things to go up for auction. In the meantime, while we wait to get word on whether or not there will be a Season 13 of Storage Wars, check out our guide to fall TV to see what you can watch in the coming weeks.