Each year, basketball’s finest gather in Springfield, Mass., to honor the hardcourt superstars chosen for Hall of Fame induction. Together with the enshrinement and reunion dinner, there’s another big event that has become a tradition during the weekend: Grey Flannel’s Annual Basketball Hall of Fame Auction.
This year’s auction – Grey Flannel’s seventh to date – includes 120 lots game-worn jerseys, championship rings and even an Olympic Gold Medal. Each lot entered in the sale is accompanied by a letter from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Leading the pack are ten game-used jerseys from the 1991 NBA All-Star Game, each accompanied by a letter of authenticity hand-signed by NBA Commissioner David Stern. Players’ game-used apparel includes jerseys from Hall of Famers Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson. Both have already surpassed their individual reserves of $25,000. The jerseys were purchased at halftime during the 1991 NBA All-Star Game, with proceeds benefiting US troops overseas. “Impeccable provenance, to say the least,” said Grey Flannel Auctions’ president, Richard E. Russek.
Another big ticket lot is the game-used jersey of Los Angeles Lakers Hall of Famer Jerry West. The jersey was worn by “Mr. Clutch” during the early 1960s and features a rare script-style “Los Angeles” on its front.
Walter Davis’ 1976 Men’s Basketball Olympic Gold Medal is also being sold at the Hall of Fame event. The United States defeated Yugoslavia to take home the gold during America’s bicentennial. The medal comes with a letter of authenticity from Davis. The reserve on this featured lot is $10,000.
Fans and collectors focused on the ABA have been checking out the 1967-68 Connie Hawkins inaugural ABA season Pittsburgh Pipers game-used rookie home jersey. Sourced from the team’s trainer, Grey Flannel says it has photomatched the inaugural season jersey to the season in which Hawkins won the ABA’s Most Valuable Player, Rookie of the Year and 1967-68 ABA title with the Pipers. The reserve is $10,000.
Several iconic pieces from the personal collection of Minneapolis Lakers great and NBA Hall of Famer Vern Mikkelsen comprise a special section of the auction. The items include a 1951 NBA Western Conference All-Star game-used jersey from the inaugural All-Star Game and his early 1950s Minneapolis Lakers worn road shooting shirt with "10,000 Lakes" emblazoned on the back, an extremely rare style. Each has a $5,000 reserve bid. The collection comes to Grey Flannel from Mikkelson and, accordingly, each lot is accompanied by his letter of authenticity.
Championship jewelry is well represented by Robert Parish’s Boston Celtics Championship ring from 1983-84. The ring was presented to the Hall of Fame center after the fabled Beantown hoopsters defeated the Los Angeles Lakers and gave the Celtics franchise its fifteenth championship. The ring is offered with a letter of authenticity from Robert Parish and has a reserve of $10,000.
While on the subject of Boston Celtics legends, Sam Jones’ 1964-65 Celtics Championship trophy is also featured in Grey Flannel’s 7th Annual Basketball Hall of Fame auction. Accompanies by his letter of authenticity, the trophy was presented to the Hall of Famer by the team and carries a reserve of $5,000.
Additional lots include a photomatched 1974-75 Bill Walton rookie Portland Trailblazers game-used and autographed home uniform, a circa-1968 Dave Cowens Florida State University worn shooting shirt accompanied by a Cowens letter of authenticity, a photomatched circa-1966 Rick Barry rookie-era San Francisco Warriors game-used home jersey with Rick Barry letter of authenticity, and a 1977-78 David Thompson Denver Nuggets game-used and autographed road jersey attributed to his 73-point performance on April 9, 1978.
Absentee bidding is currently under way. Bidding will culminate live at the Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday, Sept. 7, with each lot closing in succession beginning at 1 p.m. Eastern Time. Internet live bidding will be available during the sale.
For additional information on any lot in the sale or to order a free full-color catalog, call 631-288-7800, ext. 223, or email [email protected]
View the fully illustrated catalog and sign up to bid absentee or live via the Internet at www.GreyFlannelAuctions.com.