Kareem Abdul-Jabbar announced that he is auctioning off four of the NBA championship rings he earned during his stellar career.
The legendary Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks centre said he will be selling his championship rings from 1980, '85, '87 and '88. All of those titles were earned while he was a member of the Lakers. He will also be auctioning other items including game-worn uniforms and jerseys, including the game-used and signed ball from his final game in the NBA in 1989.
In his blog post, the American retired professional basketball player said he was auctioning, with "much of the proceeds" going to benefit his Skyhook Foundation charity which helps kids learn about science, technology, engineering and math.
"My sports memorabilia also have a history. My history. My life," Abdul-Jabbar said. "And, oddly, since my life is still happening and ever-evolving, I am less personally attached to those items than I am to my desire to create new history for myself -- and futures for others. Much of the proceeds from my auction will go to support my charity, the Skyhook Foundation, whose mission is to 'give kids a shot that can’t be blocked.'
"So, when it comes to choosing between storing a championship ring or trophy in a room, or providing kids with an opportunity to change their lives, the choice is pretty simple. Sell it all. Looking back on what I have done with my life, instead of gazing at the sparkle of jewels or gold plating celebrating something I did a long time ago, I’d rather look into the delighted face of a child holding their first caterpillar and think about what I might be doing for their future. That’s a history that has no price."
The auction is being hosted by Goldin Auctions. Abdul-Jabbar insisted that he is not having the auction because of financial problems. together with various items from his NBA playing days, Abdul-Jabbar is also auctioning off his class ring from Power Memorial High School, a pair of his iconic (game-worn) goggles, an ice bucket, a portrait of Abraham Lincoln, a VHS recording of his Hall of Fame induction in 1995 and various other awards from his past.
Abdul-Jabbar, 71, is the NBA's all-time leading scorer with 38,387 points. He left the game in 1989 at the age of 42. At the time, no NBA player had ever scored more points, blocked more shots, won more Most Valuable Player Awards, played in more All-Star Games or logged more seasons. The basketball legend is now a regular contributing columnist for newspapers and magazines around the world, including The Guardian and The Hollywood Reporter where he shares his thoughts on some of the most socially relevant and politically controversial topics.