Julius Erving says he's not selling game jerseys, major awards and other items from his career because he needs to pay bills. He's selling because it's time to let them out of the boxes where they've been stored for years, raise some cash for charity and let fans and collectors celebrate his career, now more than two decades in the rearview mirror.
Erving said Wednesday that the timing of the auction and the lawsuit were just an unfortunate coincidence.
"That irony actually gave me a sleepless night last night," he told the Associated Press. "I had to laugh at it and cringe at it that these stories would run concurrent with one another."
Erving told the AP that he lives off current income and is planning to donate a portion of the auction proceeds to the Salvation Army, a charity he's befriended since his playing days. Many of the major pieces he accumulated during a long Hall of Fame career are being sold by SCP Auctions including his 1983 NBA championship ring with the Philadelphia 76ers, a pair of ABA championship rings, MVP trophies from each league and several game worn jerseys including his last.
Erving visited with SCP's staff at the National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago this past summer. His iconic status among basketball fans and collectors ensures that the auction will generate far more than the the bank says he owes. He kept most of the items from his playing days stored in boxes. Inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993, Dr. J says he's keeping his enshrinement ring.
Bidding for dozens of pieces from his career and hundreds of other rare sports memorabilia opens to registered bidders on Friday at SCPAuctions.com.