One earned multiple championships. The other made multiple movies. Both earned a lot of money. Fifteen years ago, Shaq and fellow Los Angeles resident Sylvester Stallone were pals who made a memorabilia trade. Now, Shaq’s glitzy gift to Sly is going on the auction block.
SCP Auctions will sell a 2002 Lakers championship ring O’Neal handed to the man forever known as Rocky in its upcoming Fall Premier Auction, set to open October 4.
“I knew Shaq pretty well and I said, ‘Lets’ do a little trade,” Stallone recalled a couple of years ago. “I’ll give you something from ‘Rocky’ and you give me something from your world.’ And he said, ‘OK.’ So I get this box that says ‘Sylvester Stallone’ [on it] and this gigantic ring comes out. This is his championship ring; it’s extraordinary! I’ve looked at it for many, many years and I thought, ‘Wouldn’t this be extraordinary for someone else to have who’s a real, real basketball fan?’
The ring, which commemorated the Lakers’ 14th championship, isn’t Shaq’s personal ring, but does mirror the design of the original, albeit a tad smaller. The interior band is engraved “SLY STALLONE” and stamped “14K.” It measures to size 13 (Shaq wears a size 17). The ring is housed inside a hinged cherry wood presentation case with an engraved gold plaque on the lid attributing it to Stallone: “2002 WORLD CHAMPIONS LOS ANGELES LAKERS – Sylvester Stallone.”
The triangle theme on the ring face makes note of the team’s three straight NBA titles. A large amethyst stone is in the center bordered by the word “Back” on three sides. A total of 14 diamonds adorn the bezel, where raised lettering reads “Lakers World Champions.” Sixty-one yellow diamonds are set in the ring face, as are three larger triangular cut diamonds that represent each of the three titles.
“O’Neal” stands in raised lettering upon the left shank, and below that is the team’s regular season record (58-24) as well as its playoffs mark (15-4). The right shank features the team’s logo, the year “2002,” and a tribute to the team’s mainstay broadcaster Chick Hearn (“Slam Dunk”) whose last game at the mike was the Lakers’ 2002 NBA Championship clinching 113-107 Game 4 victory over the New Jersey Nets on June 12.
The ring originally sold for $22,500 amid a large collection of Stallone memorabilia the actor sold through Heritage Auctions in December 2015. It includes an LOA from Stallone and a DVD which explains the trade between the two Tinseltown friends.
There’s no word on what Stallone gave Shaq for his part of the deal.