Collectors, Rejoice: The Kobes are Coming!

January 22, 2011

The defending World Champion Los Angeles Lakers came through town earlier this week for a Western Conference clash with the Dallas Mavericks. What turned out to be one small step backward for the defending champions was one huge leap forward for Kobe Bryant collectors everywhere.

At least those¬†Kobe collectors who’ve been patiently waiting for his 2010-11 Panini America autographed trading cards.

Indeed, Kobe’s business trip to Big D left him just 20 miles from Panini America corporate headquarters, providing the perfect opportunity for a highly anticipated signing session with the company’s superstar exclusive spokesman. On Tuesday afternoon, we dispatched a serious, signature-seeking contingent that included Panini Authentic‘s Brian Bayne, and basketball acquisitions specialists Samantha Newman and Laurel Baker.

A few hours later, the team was clutching — with a death grip — a collectible cache of Kobe autographs, all on card and all spectacular. The cards, included as redemptions in 2010-11 products such as Donruss, Timeless Treasures and Threads, will be sent back out to collectors in the coming days.

Until then, here’s an exclusive gallery of the cards that had the entire office buzzing for two straight days.

Stay tuned next week to more news regarding Kobe Bryant and autographs and . . .