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Thursday, September 01, 2011

SCP Auctions Set to Sell Huge Collection of Julius Erving's Awards and Memorabilia

SCP Auctions' Fall and November auctions will include what they describe as "certainly the most important and comprehensive basketball player collection ever brought to market": Julius Erving's personal collection, including his 1976 ABA regular season MVP trophy, his 1981 NBA regular season MVP trophy and numerous other trophies, awards and uniforms. I have been a huge Julius Erving fan for more than 30 years--he will always be my all-time favorite basketball player and athlete--so it is heart wrenching to think that his recent financial woes have forced him to sell off such cherished and priceless mementos from his brilliant career. Erving won three ABA regular season MVPs (sharing the 1975 award with future teammate George McGinnis)--including the league's final MVP in 1976--and his 1981 NBA MVP was a historical landmark because he was the first non-center to receive that honor since Oscar Robertson in 1964; Erving paved the way for "midsize" players like Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan to dominate MVP voting in the next decade and a half.

When Bjorn Borg put his five Wimbledon championship trophies up for sale, John McEnroe and Andre Agassi offered to buy them and give them back to Borg instead of having those trophies become a conversation piece for some millionaire; Borg insisted that he was not destitute and he ultimately bought back the trophies himself after he realized the way that the sale had impacted McEnroe, Agassi and the tennis community in general. I don't know exactly what Erving's financial situation is--though public records show that in the past two years he has suffered a house foreclosure in addition to losing $5 million he invested in an Atlanta golf course deal gone bad--but if he is selling his personal collection because he needs money (as opposed to donating the money to a worthy cause or creating a trust fund for his children) it would be really nice if some of the many people who Erving has mentored and guided over the years (including Magic Johnson and Charles Barkley, to name just two) stepped up for Erving the way that McEnroe and Agassi offered to help out Borg.

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posted by David Friedman @ 2:07 PM

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