Among the many great big men throughout the history of the Los Angeles Lakers, Wilt Chamberlain stands near the top of the list. Despite only playing for the franchise for the final five seasons of his career, Chamberlain was a crucial member of the 1972 team that brought the franchise its first championship in the city of Los Angeles.
Chamberlain was actually named NBA Finals MVP after averaging 19.4 points and 23.2 rebounds in the Lakers’ five-game series victory over the New York Knicks. In that final game, Chamberlain finished with 24 points and 29 rebounds to help the Lakers hoist the championship.
And now the jersey he wore in that contest is set to be auctioned off and is expected to fetch a hefty price. The jersey is expected to sell for more than $4 million in the upcoming auction due to the significance not only of Chamberlain, but the Lakers franchise as a whole, via the Associated Press:
“This jersey holds an extraordinarily significant place in the history of Los Angeles, not only adorned by the man many consider to be the greatest player ever to step on the court, but as a relic from one of the greatest franchises in sports history,” said Brahm Wachter, Sotheby’s head of streetwear and modern collectibles.”
The jersey will be auctioned off along with a collection depicting it in magazines, newspapers, photographs, trading cards and other items. It will be on public display at Sotheby’s Los Angeles gallery from Aug. 2-31 with the online bidding itself taking place from Aug. 28 to Sept. 27.
It is expected to far exceed the previous record for a piece of Chamberlain memorabilia. That record was for a worn rookie jersey during Chamberlain’s time with the Philadelphia Warriors which sold for $1.79 million.
The mystique around Chamberlain has lived on long after his death in 1999. The four-time MVP and two-time NBA Champion still holds the record for points in a game with his famous 100-point effort in 1962.
Wilt Chamberlain amongst five Lakers legends on Julius Erving’s top-10 players list
Wilt Chamberlain’s place amongst the NBA’s greatest players is unquestioned and another legend in Julius Erving has him firmly in his top-10 NBA players of all-time.
Chamberlain was one of five Lakers legends on Erving’s list, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Jerry West and Elgin Baylor. Bill Russell, Oscar Robertson, Michael Jordan, Karl Malone and Nate ‘Tiny’ Archibald rounded out the 10, which came under criticism for leaving off the likes of Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Stephen Curry.
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