KOBE BRYANT is playing some of his toughest defense yet, demanding his mother keeps her hands off his merchandise.
Bryant, the Los Angeles Lakers guard, said in a court filing that he never gave his mother permission to sell mementos from his high school days and early professional basketball career.
Bryant is in a court battle over whether hundreds of items - from high school jerseys to trophies and championship rings - can be auctioned off.
Pamela Bryant said the NBA star told her the memorabilia was hers. She arranged earlier this year to auction it off through Berlin, N.J.-based Goldin Auctions and received a $450,000 advance. Goldin is suing to assert its right to sell.
In a filing Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Camden, Kobe Bryant says his mother acknowledged to him recently that she did not have permission to sell the items. The suit was filed there because the auction house is located in southern New Jersey.
Goldin dubbed the auction "The Bryant Collection," and the main page of its website shows three Lower Merion uniforms from his high school days and one familiar No. 8 Lakers jersey. There's even a surfboard from when he won a Teen Choice award among the roughly 100 items listed.
"I never told my mother that she could have my personal property, let alone consign it for public auction," Bryant wrote in the filing.
He also posted on Twitter, "When u give Give GIVE and they take Take TAKE at wat point do u draw a line in the sand? (hash) hurtbeyondmeasure (hash) gavemenowarning (hash) love?"
Amare Stoudemire will likely be limited to about 10 to 15 minutes per game if he is able to return during New York's playoff series against the Indiana Pacers.
Stoudemire had right knee surgery on March 2. The Knicks are hoping the forward will be in uniform tomorrow for Game 3 in Indianapolis. The best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinals series is tied, 1-1.
* Denver general manager Masai Ujiri was named the NBA's executive of the year, a day after George Karl was named the league's top coach. Ujiri, the first African-born GM in major American sports, built the Nuggets team that won an NBA franchise-record 57 games and went an NBA-best 38-3 at home before bowing out in the first round of the playoffs.