Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer Jerry Lucas is set to auction 17 items from his distinguished career -- including his gold medal with USA Basketball at the 1960 Rome Olympics and his 1973 Knicks championship ring -- that could fetch more than $500,000.
The Middletown Journal reports that Lucas says that he isn't a particularly sentimental person and that he won't shed any tears after parting with the rare memorabilia items, which will be sold off by Grey Flannel Auctions.
Lucas said for years the items were stored in his home. Because he couldn’t divide the items fairly among his family, he said selling them through Grey Flannel Auctions was “the right thing to do at this time.”
“Things don’t mean a lot to me,” he said. “They never have. I have real great memories associated with them, but they’re hard to see when they’re in a closet.”
[Grey Flannel Auctions' Michael] Russek said every item will have a minimum bid, and if they only brought their reserve, they would sell for $531,500. The most expensive item probably will be the gold medal, which has a reserve of $250,000, Russek said. He refused to guess what it may sell for, saying “the market will dictate the price.”
Lucas, 73, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1980 and named to the NBA's 50 Greatest Players list in 1996 after spending an 11-year career with the Cincinnati Royals, San Francisco Warriors and New York Knicks that spanned from 1963 to 1974. He was also a three-time All-American First Team selection while at Ohio State, where he won an NCAA title with the Buckeyes in 1960.
Grey Flannel Auctions recently announced the Lucas collection, which, in addition to the gold medal and his championship ring, includes his 1960 Ohio State NCAA ring, his 1980 Hall of Fame induction ring and a number of game-worn jerseys. The items will go on the auction block on Sept. 7 and can be previewed right here.
Jerry Lucas is one of the greatest basketball players in the history of the game. Lucas is one of only three players in history to win championships at every level (high school, college, NBA, Olympics); was named one of the Top Fifty players in NBA history; and named one of the Top 15 All-Time March Madness Players. During his career Lucas was a 7-time All-Pro, was the NBA All-Star Game MVP and is the only forward in league history to pull down 40 rebounds in a game. In 1973, he was a member of the New York Knicks World Championship team. He retired from the game with time remaining on his contract to pursue his passion of education and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1979.
Each item offered in this sale will come with a hand signed letter from Jerry Lucas as well as a Naismith Memorabilia Basketball Hall of Fame letter of authenticity. Highlights Include:
1. 1960 USA Basketball Olympic Gold Medal; 2. 1960 USA Olympic Gold Medal Winning Game-Used Jersey; 3. 1980 Hall of Fame Induction Ring; 4. 1973 New York Knicks World Championship Ring; 5, NBA Top 50 Greatest Players Ring With Presentation Box; 6. NBA Top 50 Greatest Players Lithograph; 7. NBA Top 50 Leather Jacket & Travel Bag; 8. 1960 Ohio State National Championship Ring; 9. 1960 Ohio State Shooting Shirt; 10. 1969-70 San Francisco Warriors Game-Used Jersey; 11. Late 1960s Cincinnati Royals Game-Used Jersey
A number of other athletes have recently held auctions: Hall of Famer Elgin Baylor auctioned off more than 300 items earlier this year, Walter Davis auctioned off his 1976 Olympics gold medal in 2012, while Kobe Bryant and his mother engaged in a legal dispute over dozens of his items that eventually sold for more than $400,000 at auction.
Lucas, a seven-time All-Star and the 1964 Rookie of the Year, holds career averages of 17 points, 15.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists. He was named Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year for 1961.
Item photos via Grey Flannel Auctions | Hat tip: HoopsHype.com