SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Excitement is building around the Basketball Hall of Fame’s upcoming 2008 enshrinement ceremony, which extends over three days and includes an agenda of events: receptions, a reunion dinner and a much-anticipated 175-lot auction of important basketball memorabilia. To be conducted by Grey Flannel Auctions on site at the Basketball Hall of Fame, the Sept. 6 sale contains only the crème de la crème of stars’ game-used jerseys, sneakers and apparel, as well as championship rings, signed basketballs and Michael Jordan 2009 VIP-enshrinement guest packages.
Each item in the sale comes with impeccable provenance and letters of authenticity from both Grey Flannel Auctions and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. All autographed articles will be offered with additional letters of authenticity from James Spence Authentication (JSA), whose experts independently evaluated and authenticated the signatures.
The auction roster opens with as sensational early 1960s Bob Cousy Boston Celtics game-used and autographed home uniform. Known as the “Houdini of the hardwood,” Cousy is a Celtics legend, and to be able to bid on this uniform, which originated from the Cousy family, is a rare opportunity for fans of basketball’s most enduring dynasty. Reserve: $5,000.
Another Celtics star, Bill Russell, was a five-time NBA Most Valuable Player and 12-time All-Star. A game-used and autographed Russell home jersey from the mid 1960s – one of only two known – is entered in the sale with a $25,000 reserve.
Two Los Angeles Lakers World Championship rings will be auctioned – one of them from 2001, and the other originally belonging to forward Samaki Walker, of the 2002 Lakers championship team. Each will be offered with a $10,000 reserve.
A timely entry is the blue mesh USA jersey worn by Patrick Ewing at the 1984 Olympic Games in Inglewood, Calif. Team USA swept the Gold Medal that year, and one of the key members of the “Dream Team” was Ewing, who will be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame this year. Reserve: $5,000.
Two Michael Jordan lots of particular significance include an autographed NBA All-Stars jersey from 1996 (reserve $7,500), and a historical, extremely desirable University of North Carolina Tar Heels game-used road jersey worn by Jordan circa 1983. The latter item, which symbolizes the beginning of a career unparalleled by any other player in the annals of basketball, is to be auctioned with a $25,000 reserve.
It is challenging to select highlights from such a stellar array of memorabilia, but one article that cannot be overlooked is the only known Elvin Hayes college item ever to be made available to the public. Hayes’ circa-1967 home-worn shooting shirt is from his days with the University of Houston Cougars. It carries a reserve of $5,000.
In addition to uniforms and autographed items, the sale includes several VIP experiences, including lunch and a round of golf with Hall of Famer Bob Cousy, and intimate dinners with Hall of Famers coupled with coveted passes to the 2009 enshrinement, where Michael Jordan is expected to be inducted.
To view the entire catalog online, visit www.GreyFlannelAuctions.com. Absentee bidding is currently under way, with bids being accepted by phone as well as online, but this is ultimately a live auction. The live bidding on all lots in the sale will begin at 12 noon EST on Saturday, Sept. 6. If you cannot attend the auction in person, phone lines are available on a limited basis – reservations are strongly recommended. Most lots will be available for preview two days prior to the auction at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass. For additional information, please call 631-288-7800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.