Sotheby’s to accept crypto payment for sports memorabilia NFT sale for first time

The centuries-old art auction house Sotheby’s announced on Tuesday that it will accept cryptocurrency payments for an auction including a sports memorabilia non-fungible token (NFT) sale for the first time. 

The item in question is a shooting shirt from the late Los Angeles Lakers basketball player Kobe Bryant as he scored 81 points in a 2006 game against the Toronto Raptors. The official authenticator for the National Basketball Association (NBA) verified and photo-matched the shirt, and no other worn item from Bryant has been released for public auction. 


Keep up with the latest news, trends, charts and views on crypto and DeFi with a new biweekly newsletter from The Block's Frank Chaparro

By signing-up you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy
By signing-up you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy

Bryant’s shooting shirt will be sold physically and have an accompanying NFT of an animation depicting Bryant’s 81-point game. The shirt’s starting price will begin at $200,000 USD. Sotheby’s will accept the final payment in ETH, BTC, USD Coin as well as fiat currency. 

Sotheby’s began selling NFTs in April of 2021 — primarily for digital art and not sports-related items but didn’t accept crypt payments for its auctions until May of that year. In all, Sotheby’s netted $100 million in NFT sales in 2021, The Block previously reported.

About Author

MK Manoylov has been a reporter for The Block since 2020 — joining just before bitcoin surpassed $20,000 for the first time. Since then, MK has written nearly 1,000 articles for the publication, covering any and all crypto news but with a penchant toward NFT, metaverse, web3 gaming, funding, crime, hack and crypto ecosystem stories. MK holds a graduate degree from New York University's Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program (SHERP) and has also covered health topics for WebMD and Insider. You can follow MK on X @MManoylov and on LinkedIn.