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Collection of Historic Basketball Jerseys Set for Auction

Willis Reed game used jersey If you’re more "Pistol Pete" than "King James", you’ll love Sotheby’s/SCP Auctions upcoming sale. Some vintage game-used Hall of Fame jerseys are up for grabs.

Fans attending this weekend’s NBA All Star Jam Fest in Las Vegas were able to see one man’s incredible collection of game-used jerseys scheduled for auction later this year.

The group consists of more than 100 original gamers, all worn by members of the NBA’s 50 Greatest players as selected in 1996 during the league’s 50th anniversary celebration. The jersey collection belonged to an east coast collector who has decided to sell. Sotheby’s/SCP Auctions has acquired the collection on consignment and had it on display at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino during NBA All Star weekend. The collection is set to be sold at auction on June 5.

Among the Hall of Famers represented are Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan, Oscar Robertson, Jerry West, Willis Reed, Bob Cousy and others. The collector obtained a jersey from 40 of the 50 members of that all-time team. It is the most valuable and comprehensive compilation of its kind ever offered for sale publicly, according to Dan Imler, Managing Director of SCP Auctions.

"The quality and depth of the collection rivals the contents of the Basketball Hall of Fame," Imler said. "What is truly remarkable is not only the caliber of players represented within the collection, but the quality of each jersey for each respective name."

"This collection was assembled over a long period of time with an extreme emphasis on obtaining the best jerseys available. For example, our client was not content with having just any Wilt Chamberlain jersey, he was able to secure Wilt’s 1959 full uniform from his rookie season with the Philadelphia Warriors."

That Chamberlain jersey carries a pre-sale estimate of $50,000-$75,000.

Other coveted examples from this "best of the best" collection include a jersey worn by Reed during his historic performance in the final game of the 1969-70 Championship Series. New York Knicks fans will never forget the image of their team’s injured captain as he limped through the tunnel and onto the court moments before tip-off. Reed, who was not expected to play, was met by waves of cheers cascading down from the Garden stands providing the inspiration his team needed to defeat the Lakers and earn the first World Championship of the storied franchise.

The collection includes:

Bill Russell game-worn Celtics jersey Wilt Chamberlain Philadelphia 76ers jersey

* Wilt Chamberlain 1959 Philadelphia Warriors Rookie Uniform est.
$50,000-$75,000

* Bob Cousy 1950′s Boston Celtics Signed Home Uniform, pre-sale estimate: $15,000-$20,000

* Michael Jordan 1984-85 Chicago Bulls Rookie Home Jersey est. $35,000-
$50,000

* Bob Pettit 1963-64 St. Louis Hawks Road Jersey w/ LOA From Petit
$8,000-$12,000

* Willis Reed New York Knicks Home Jersey From Historic Performance in
Final Game of the 1969-70 Championship Series (Knicks First Title)
$50,000-$75,000

* Oscar Robertson 1967 Cincinnati Royals Home Uniform $20,000-$25,000

* Bill Russell 1967 Boston Celtics Home Jersey est. $40,000-$60,000

* Dolph Shayes 1955 Syracuse Nationals Road Jersey est. $20,000-$30,000

* Jerry West 1973 Los Angeles Lakers Home Jersey est. $12,500-$17,500

* Larry Bird 1990 Boston Celtics Home Jersey est. $4,000-$6,000

* Pete Maravich 1974 Utah Jazz Warm-Up Jacket est. $8,000-$12,000

"This is a unique opportunity to see some truly historic artifacts that represent the evolution of the NBA," Imler said. "Nothing short of a trip to Springfield Massachusetts could get you closer to the roots of the game."

About Rich Mueller

Rich is the editor and founder of Sports Collectors Daily. A broadcaster and writer for more than 30 years and a collector for even longer than that, he's usually typing something somewhere. Type him back at [email protected].

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