During the 1996-1997 season, the National Basketball Association celebrated its 50th anniversary by getting behind a new piece of autographed memorabilia.
Sam Battistone, founder of Field of Dreams and Dreams Inc. and former owner of the Utah Jazz, got together with NBA Commissioner David Stern to create and produce the “NBA Fifty Greatest Players” lithograph. The players were honored during the All-Star Ceremonies in Cleveland.
Never before had a piece of historic memorabilia captured the individual signatures of the 50 most significant players involved in a sport. Amazingly, 49 of the 50 players were living at the time, with only Pete Maravich having passed away.
Only a limited number were made and they’ve proven to be popular on the aftermarket.
Now, a follow-up to that piece is available, and part of the proceeds will benefit NBA retirees who need help.
The collage, Legends of Basketball — We Made This Game, was produced by Florida artist Erika King. The NBA-licensed piece features 60 of the greatest living players of the NBA including Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Julius Erving.
The new piece includes players who have joined the ranks of all-time greats since the first lithograph was produced, including Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant.
At $25,000, they’re not cheap but try to bring 60 NBA superstars to a card show sometime.
The art has a definite Miami connection and the Herald has more on the effort–one that got started thanks to a Hall of Famer.