Former NBA/ABA legend Julius Erving says it wasn’t mounting debt, or a pending lawsuit, that convinced him to sell some of his memorabilia, but instead a need to unload some stuff he never looks at anymore.
Whatever the case, the man known as Dr. J during his career, hit the jackpot when the numbers came in Sunday morning from his online auction of items. Among the highlights: His 1974 New Jersey Nets ABA championship ring sold for $460,471; 1983 76ers championship rings sold for $244,240; 1983 All-Star game MVP trophy ($115,242); final game-worn jersey from May 3, 1987 ($88,826); and 1974-75 ABA MVP trophy ($173,10). Erving, 61, reportedly sold 144 items for a hefty $3.55 million dollars.
Erving’s ABA championship ring sold for $460,741, making it the highest take ever for a sports ring, according to a report. A major buyer of Dr. J’s items was the Philadelphia 76ers CEO Adam Aron. According to Aron’s Twitter account, he purchased 18 of the items to put on display.
According to SCP Auctions, which billed the auction as “the largest and most significant player basketball collection ever sold,” Erving’s unwanted memorabilia set a record for the most money raked in for one man’s collection.
“It was mind-boggling,” SCP president David Kohler said. “Normally, rings go for $25,000 or so. Before the sale I didn’t think they’d bring $50,000. We were blown away. I spoke to Julius and he’s ecstatic.”
What it all means is Julius Erving won’t have trouble settling the lawsuit for the $205,277.84 he owes to a bank in Georgia.