They called him The Black Mamba.
Kobe Bryant, the Los Angeles Lakers legend, is widely regarded as one the greatest basketball players of all time.
A shooting guard, he spent his entire 20-year career with the Lakers and in that time he hit 33,643 points made 8,378 free throws, and completed 4,010 turnovers.
‘The Kobe Bryant Experience’
He also won five NBA championships and was an 18-time All-Star. In 2008 he was named NBA Most Valuable Player.
Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash in January 2020 along with his 13-year-old daughter and seven others, is now the subject of a new NFT series.
Celebrity photographer Kevin Lynch and Masterpiece Digital auction house are collaborating “The Kobe Bryant Experience.”
The series will include a total of four NFT packages and the first NFT to be offered for sale will be the iconic “Black Mamba” photograph by Lynch.
“I am very excited to bring my art onto the blockchain because I see a cultural shift in how art can be more appreciated,” Lynch said in a statement. “The traditional art world is starting to pay attention. The idea of being able to share and trade art using cryptocurrency unlocks an entirely new revenue stream for artists and collectors alike.”
In addition to an interactive 3D card of the iconic image, the buyer will also obtain encrypted “Behind the Scenes” high-resolution photos, as well as an interview with Lynch about his experience in working one-on-one with Bryant.
Lynch’s celebrity, fashion, advertising and fine art images have appeared in museums and galleries throughout Europe and the United States, including Hamiltons Gallery in London and Christophe Van De Weghe Fine Arts Gallery in New York.
‘His Lasting Legacy’
Lynch also published a limited-edition book, “Octagon,” with more than 400 photographs documenting the four-year history of Ultimate Fighting Championship.
“In the art world, there’s been a pivot to digital in almost everything except the art, and now we’re getting there with the art as well,” said Sotheby’s CEO Charles Stewart.
The auction and sale will mark the first time the “Black Mamba” has ever been available for purchase in NFT form.
Masterpiece Digital is working with Ravencoin artist gallery and NFT marketplace RVNFT.ART to offer this unique package.
The “Black Mamba” NFTs will be minted on the RavenCoin Blockchain.
“Kobe left us with his lasting legacy, so these particular iconographic photographs of him are an enticing opportunity for collectors and fans,” Lynch said.
On Sunday, Bryant’s widow, Vanessa Bryant, appeared at the NBA All-Star Game at in Cleveland to present veteran player Chris Paul with the first-ever Kobe and Gigi Bryant Advocacy Award.
Sales of NFTs reached $25 billion in 2021, Reuters reported, citing market tracker DappRadar, compared with $94.9 million the year before.
One NFT artwork, “Everydays – The First 5000 Days” American artist Mike Winkelmann, known as Beeple, fetched a record $69.3 million at a Christie’s sale in March.
Around 28.6 million wallets traded NFTs in 2021, up from some 545,000 in 2020, DappRadar said.