SCP Auctions will feature the personal basketball memorabilia of Basketball Hall of Famers Oscar Robertson, Sam Jones and David Thompson as part of its fall online auction, beginning Wednesday, Nov. 14. “It is an honor for us to handle memorabilia from three significant personal collections of these prominent basketball Hall of Famers,” said SCP Auctions President David Kohler.
Robertson, voted one of the 50 Greatest NBA Players of All Time, was a superstar at Indianapolis’ Crispus Attucks High School, the University of Cincinnati and in international competition at the Pan-Am Games and the Olympics before he ever set foot on an NBA court. His epic rise to the top of the basketball world came amid the excruciating racial turmoil of the postwar era. He navigated through all of that with a quiet dignity that has earned him a spot atop the hierarchy of basketball giants.
Few players ever dominated statistically as Robertson did, yet hardly needed numbers to help define their historical legacy. The man who averaged nearly 34 points per game in college and somehow averaged a triple-double for his first five seasons in the NBA with his hometown Cincinnati Royals, decades before it ever became a popular statistic. A stunning trade sent Robertson to the Milwaukee Bucks in 1970 where he would team with Lew Alcindor (later Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) to earn his sole NBA crown.
Following are highlights of some of the lots that will be offered from Robertson’s personal collection. Each lot comes with a Letter of Provenance signed by Robertson.
- 1959 Pan American Games Team USA game-worn jersey
- 1960 Olympic game-worn jersey from USA Gold Medal winning team
- 1963-64 NBA Most Valuable Player trophy
- 1996 NBA 50 Greatest Players ring
- c. 1959 Cincinnati Bearcats University game-worn jersey
Another of the 50 Greatest NBA Players of All Time, Jones was one of the linchpins of the fabulous Boston Celtics juggernaut of the 1950s and 1960s. Called “Mr. Clutch” by many of his peers, Jones was known for his uncannily accurate bank shots, lightning quickness, and cool demeanor. He helped the Celtics win 10 NBA Championships in the 12 years he played with the team. During his career, Jones racked up 15,411 points at a 17.7 points per game clip, and shot .803 from the free-throw line. Selected to the All-NBA second team three times and an All-Star five times, he was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1983.
Jones’ 10 NBA Championships ranks second in NBA history only to teammate Bill Russell (11). Extraordinarily accomplished, yet ever humble, Jones gave credit where he felt it was due during his Hall of Fame induction speech: “It would have made me very happy,” he said, “if the Celtics had gone in as a team, because that’s what we were, a great team, not great individuals.”
A few lots that make up the significant rings, awards and memorabilia from Jones’ extraordinary Hall of Fame career offered with a Letter of Provenance signed by Jones include:
- 1983 NBA Hall of Fame Induction ring
- 1996 NBA 50 Greatest Players ring
- Boston Celtics 1958-59 NBA Championship ring
- Boston Celtics 1966 (8th straight) NBA World Championship wristwatch
- Boston Celtics 1968-69 NBA Championship ring
- Boston Celtics Seven Times World Champions 1959-66 presentation watch
Renowned for his extraordinary leaping ability and uncanny shooting, Thompson soared above basketball’s landscape in the 1970s and early 1980s. At North Carolina State University in 1974, the 6’4″ Thompson was largely responsible for ending UCLA’s seven-year reign as NCAA champion. As a pro with the Denver Nuggets and Seattle SuperSonics, Thompson averaged 22.7 points, won All-Star Game MVP awards in the ABA and in the NBA, and once scored 73 points in an NBA game.
As a rookie with the ABA Nuggets in 1975-76, Thompson averaged 26.0 points a game and was runner-up to Julius Erving in the inaugural Slam Dunk competition. The next year, the Nuggets joined the NBA and Thompson averaged 25.9 points a game. Later, he signed a contract making him the highest-paid athlete in professional sports before a knee injury cut short his already prolific career. David Thompson was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1996.
Following are highlights of the 49 lots that originate from the personal collection of Thompson. Each comes with a Thompson signed LOA.
- 1973 ACC Champions’ Trophy
- 1974 North Carolina State National Championship ring
- 1978 NBA All-Star ring
- Crest High School (Shelby, NC) game-worn jersey
- Game-used 1976 ABA All-Star ball signed by ABA Greats
- Game net from 1974 ACC Tournament Championship Final (NC State 103, Maryland 100)
- Game net from 1974 NC State vs. Marquette National Championship Game with autographed plaque
Bidding will be open to registered bidders on Wednesday, Nov. 14 and conclude on Saturday, Dec. 1. The auction will be conducted online at SCPAuctions.com. The fall auction will also feature hundreds of other historically significant sports memorabilia items and cards, including The Angelo Dundee Estate Collection of boxing memorabilia – highlighted by Muhammad Ali’s fight-worn gloves from his February 25, 1964 bout against Sonny Liston and Ali-Frazier I – and The Ozzie Smith Collection of baseball memorabilia highlighted by his 13 Gold Glove Awards from 1980-1992, 11 of his All-Star Game rings, and St. Louis Cardinals World Series rings from 2006 and 2011. For more information on how to participate, visit www.scpauctions.com or call (949) 831-3700.