Kobe Bryant rookie cards have been hobby royalty for decades, and his untimely death in January of 2020 only magnified his stature among collectors.

From the moment the Charlotte Hornets drafted Kobe with the 13th pick in the June 1996 NBA Draft — and, really, even before — as a high schooler, Kobe had high expectations heaped on him.

Those pressures exploded less than a month later when the Hornets traded Bryant to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for Vlade Divac.

And, just like that, the Lakers had their new face of the franchise, the “kid” who was going to lead them back to the top of the NBA heap.

Not only that, but young Kobe was being hailed as the “Next Michael Jordan,” an impossible yoke to bear that he nevertheless handled with great aplomb while doing little to dispel the idea with his play on the court — increased minutes and scoring averages over his first several seasons, and an NBA title after his third.

From there, it was just up, up, up, with two scoring titles and four more championships to accompany his 18 All-Star and 15 All-NBA selections.

And, sure, there were controversies and even criminal problems along the way, from Kobe’s not-so-friendly banter with teammate Shaquille O’Neal to his much publicized sexual assault incident in a Colorado hotel room.

Through it all, though, Kobe continued his march toward the Hall of Fame and managed to carve out his own unique spotlight in the sport, separate and different from Jordan’s, O’Neal’s, LeBron James’, and everyone else’s.

Bryant retired after the 2015-16 season as a lifetime Laker (draft notwithstanding), which of course helped to elevate his profile in the game and hobby even further.

Collectors sure took note, and we made his first cards in the 1996-97 sets like Topps, Bowman, Flair, and Upper Deck among the hottest of all hoops cards right from the tip, and, just like the man himself, we — and his cards — never looked back.

Today, Kobe Bryant rookies remain among the hottest of all basketball cards, and you can get an eyeful anytime you want to over on eBay.

To help whet your appetite for that show, then, here are the hottest, most watched Kobe Bryant rookie cards on eBay right now. It’s a fun list to watch, and updated every few minutes … so check back often!

(NOTE: The section below contains affiliate links to eBay listings for the card shown.)

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1996-97 Topps Chrome Refractor #138 Kobe Bryant RC Rookie HOF PSA 9 HIGH END

Watchers: 216  
# of Bids: 41
Current Bid: $11800
Auction Ends: 05-Oct-2022 03:10
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1996-97 SKYBOX E-X2000 KOBE BRYANT RC ROOKIE PSA 9 MINT VERY SHARP LAKERS GOAT

Watchers: 100  
# of Bids: 33
Current Bid: $870
Auction Ends: 04-Oct-2022 02:10
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1996-97 Topps Chrome #138 Kobe Bryant RC Rookie HOF PSA 10 MBA GOLD DMD

Watchers: 90  
# of Bids: 28
Current Bid: $4450
Auction Ends: 11-Oct-2022 03:10
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1996-97 Topps Chrome #138 Kobe Bryant RC Rookie HOF PSA 9 " LOOKS GEM "

Watchers: 67  
# of Bids: 15
Current Bid: $405
Auction Ends: 06-Oct-2022 03:10
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1996-97 Topps Chrome #138 Kobe Bryant RC Rookie HOF PSA 9 " PRISTINE "

Watchers: 65  
# of Bids: 14
Current Bid: $595
Auction Ends: 06-Oct-2022 03:10
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(2) 1996 Topps Chrome Youthquake KOBE Bryant rc PSA 10 gem mint 138 rookie LOT!

Watchers: 64  
# of Bids: 23
Current Bid: $648
Auction Ends: 06-Oct-2022 05:10
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Kobe Bryant 1996-97 Bowman's Best REFRACTOR #R23 Rookie Card RC Fast 3 Day Sale

Watchers: 48  
# of Bids: 2
Current Bid: $535
Auction Ends: 03-Oct-2022 20:10
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KOBE BRYANT 1996 BOWMAN’S BEST ROOKIE CARD #R23 PSA 10 GEM MINT PMJS

Watchers: 41  
# of Bids: 15
Current Bid: $205
Auction Ends: 07-Oct-2022 01:10
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HUGE ROOKIE PATCH AUTO JOSH ALLEN PRIZM RPA SP OPTIC SPORTS CARD COLLECTION LOT

Watchers: 41  
# of Bids: 22
Current Bid: $157.5
Auction Ends: 05-Oct-2022 01:10
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HUGE ROOKIE PATCH AUTO JOSH ALLEN PRIZM RPA OPTIC PSA SPORTS CARD COLLECTION LOT

Watchers: 40  
# of Bids: 12
Current Bid: $105
Auction Ends: 07-Oct-2022 01:10
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1996-97 Topps Kobe Bryant Rookie Card RC #138 Lakers M992

Watchers: 40  
# of Bids: 26
Current Bid: $41.01
Auction Ends: 04-Oct-2022 02:10
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1996-97 Skybox Premium RUBIES #203 Kobe Bryant RC PSA 10 GEM MT! LOW POP

Watchers: 39  
# of Bids: 7
Current Bid: $1405
Auction Ends: 09-Oct-2022 01:10
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1996 UD3 Kobe Bryant #19 Rookie Card PSA 10 GEM MINT

Watchers: 37  
# of Bids: 16
Current Bid: $255
Auction Ends: 03-Oct-2022 04:10
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1996-97 Topps Draft Redemption #DP13 Kobe Bryant RC Lakers ROOKIE BGS 9 MINT

Watchers: 36  
# of Bids: 8
Current Bid: $117.5
Auction Ends: 11-Oct-2022 03:10
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HUGE NATIONAL TREASURES ROOKIE PATCH AUTO PRIZM RPA SPORTS CARD COLLECTION LOT

Watchers: 35  
# of Bids: 12
Current Bid: $81
Auction Ends: 06-Oct-2022 01:10
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1996-97 KOBE BRYANT Topps Chrome #138 RC LA Lakers Rookie Card Mint

Watchers: 34  
# of Bids: 1
Current Bid: $430
Auction Ends: 04-Oct-2022 15:10
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1996-97 Flair Showcase Class of Ninety-Six Kobe Bryant Rc Rookie Lakers

Watchers: 34  
# of Bids: 15
Current Bid: $36
Auction Ends: 10-Oct-2022 01:10
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Investor Lot (65) 1996 Topps Upper Deck Fleer Skybox Kobe Bryant RC Rookie HOF

Watchers: 34  
# of Bids: 18
Current Bid: $1179
Auction Ends: 04-Oct-2022 02:10
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1996-97 Skybox E-X2000 Star Date 2000 #3 Kobe Bryant RC Rookie HOF PSA 9

Watchers: 34  
# of Bids: 8
Current Bid: $355
Auction Ends: 11-Oct-2022 03:10
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Kobe Bryant 1996 Topps Finest Apprentices Rookie card

Watchers: 31  
# of Bids: 20
Current Bid: $84
Auction Ends: 04-Oct-2022 01:10
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1996-97 Topps Kobe Bryant Rookie Card RC #138 Lakers L613

Watchers: 31  
# of Bids: 23
Current Bid: $61
Auction Ends: 04-Oct-2022 00:10
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HUGE ROOKIE PATCH AUTO LEBRON JAMES PRIZM RPA OPTIC SPORTS CARD COLLECTION LOT

Watchers: 30  
# of Bids: 11
Current Bid: $48.88
Auction Ends: 06-Oct-2022 01:10
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2003-04 SKYBOX AUTOGRAPHICS LEBRON JAMES KOBE BRYANT RC ROOKIES AFFIRMED PSA 8!

Watchers: 29  
# of Bids: 7
Current Bid: $7.5
Auction Ends: 09-Oct-2022 23:10
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1996-97 Fleer Ultra Kobe Bryant Rookie Card RC #52 Lakers L847

Watchers: 29  
# of Bids: 12
Current Bid: $16.26
Auction Ends: 04-Oct-2022 01:10
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)