A traditional part of the annual slate of festivities held at the Basketball Hall of Fame is the Basketball Hall of Fame Induction Auction, which this year brought in $1.48 million – a result Grey Flannel Auctions’ Richard Russek, described as “fantastic, especially considering there were 222 lots in the sale. The average lot price was $6,671, and 100 percent of the lots sold.”
All prices quoted in this report include a 20% buyer’s premium.
Both a personalized 1968-69 Boston Celtics home warm-up jacket worn by Bill Russell during his final season and a 1965-66 Wilt Chamberlain Philadelphia 76ers game-used home jersey scored individual selling prices of $84,000. The red and white #13 Chamberlain jersey had the added cachet of having been from an MVP and scoring title season, and was a style used for one year only.
A selection of 12 personal mementos from the career of slam-dunking phenom and 2010 posthumous Hall of Fame inductee Dennis Johnson was offered by Grey Flannel with impeccable provenance. Each article was accompanied by a letter of authenticity from the Johnson family, whose members were present for Dennis’ 2010 posthumous induction to the Hall of Fame.
Johnson’s 1984 Boston Celtics World Championship player’s ring adorned with a diamond-emblazed shamrock motif sold for $78,000 while his1980 Western Conference game-used All-Star uniform attracted a winning bid of $24,000.
One of the auction’s Premier Lots, an autographed circa-1976 Portland Trailblazers home jersey jumped from a $5,000 opening bid to a $72,000 selling price.
Another top performer was Elvin Hayes’ circa-1970 game-used and autographed San Diego Rockets home uniform. On the jersey’s front was the name “Rockets,” while the “E” on the back of the jersey needed no further explanation. After 23 bids that culminated at $60,000, the uniform was off to a new home.
The old-school appeal of a Dolph Schayes mid-1950s Syracuse Nationals game-used and autographed home jersey was further heightened by the fact that it is the only known Schayes jersey from his years with the Nats. Against a $5,000 reserve, it rose to a $51,000 finish at auction.
Additional highlights among the game-worn apparel included a mid-1960s Gail Goodrich rookie-era L.A. Lakers autographed road jersey and a late-1960s Jerry West game-used Lakers home uniform. Each was sold for $48,000. A late-1960s Elgin Baylor game-used road uniform garnered $39,000.
A 47-point game ball signed by Pete Maravich on Feb. 8, 1975, the night of his sold-out return to the Atlanta Hawks, sold for $33,000. The second-youngest player ever inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame (in 1987, at age 39, less than a year before his passing), Maravich was described by the Hall as being “perhaps the greatest creative offensive talent in history.”
Grey Flannel’s next auction is slated for November 17.