Erving, who spent all of his 11 NBA seasons with the Sixers after a stellar career in the ABA, is auctioning a boatload of his personal memorabilia in conjunction with SCP Auctions' fall offering.
Doctor J items to be auctioned, beginning Friday, include:
* 1983 NBA championship ring (minimum bid $25,000)
* 1996 NBA 50 greatest player ring ($5,000)
* 1975-76 MVP trophy from the ABA ($10,000) and 1980-81 MVP trophy from NBA ($20,000).
* NBA All-Star Game MVP trophies from 1977 and 1983 ($5,000 each).
* Championship rings from the ABA's New Jersey Nets from 1974 and 1976 ($20,000 each).
* The jersey he wore in his final NBA game against Milwaukee in 1987 ($10,000).
"I am very excited to work with SCP Auctions to offer my person collection of memorabilia to collectors and fans," the Basketball Hall of Famer said in a statement. "It is my hope that the buyers of these items will derive much pleasure from their ownership. I also hope these treasures initiate much discussion inside and outside of basketball circles that help to preserve my legacy. It pleases me to support my lifelong charity, the Salvation Army, with a portion of the proceeds. My family and I thank all of the fans for their continued support throughout the years."
The obvious question is, why now? Is the good Doctor in such financial trouble that this is a necessity? Attempts to reach Erving on his cellphone were unsuccessful, but SCP president and CEO David Kohler said that is not the case.
"It's not that [financial difficulties]; he was just willing to sell now," Kohler said. "He was ready to do it. We've been talking about this for about a year, and this is going to be the 25th year since his retirement, so he decided it was the right time."
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Erving owes more than $200,000 on a loan with the Georgia Primary Bank, which filed a lawsuit against Erving on Oct. 18. Erving purchased the Heritage Golf Club in Tucker, Ga., outside Atlanta, around 2006. The paper reported in 2010 that the club was in foreclosure.
Erving led the Sixers to the playoffs every season he was with them. He was a 16-time All-Star.
The Internet auction, which will include the shorts worn by Muhammad Ali in his first fight against Joe Frazier, will open to registered bidders Friday and conclude on Saturday, Nov. 19. For information, go to www.scpauctions.com, or call 800-350-2273.
"Another great thing about this, besides it being the largest collection of an NBA player to come on the market, is that the bidding prices are transparent, meaning anyone all over the world can view the highest bids," Kohler said.
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