His 1974 ABA New Jersey Nets championship ring fetched $460,741, the highest total ever for a sports ring. Five more of Erving’s rings each exceeded $195,000. Three MVP trophies each exceeded $165,000.
Julius Erving is by any account one of the greatest to ever suit up in the NBA and the greatest to suit up in the ABA. Yet, after this weekend’s auction he has nothing to show for it.
Erving won three straight MVPs as a member of the New York Nets from 1974-1976. The trophy from 1975? Gone for the small price of $173,000. I hope whoever bought it treats it right. Erving certainly deserved the awards. He averaged 28 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists, 2.5 steals and 2 blocks to get those honors.
His 1974 ABA championship ring? Also gone. Same goes for his lone NBA championship ring he got in 1983 with the Sixers. All it took was a nifty $244,000 to fetch that one. Even Erving’s final game-worn jersey from 1987 sold for $88,000.
Julius doesn’t see the fuss over keepsakes and says that it was a planned, celebratory event:
Erving told The Associated Press last month he’s never been a “hoarder or collector,” and planned to donate a portion of the auction proceeds to the Salvation Army.
I don’t see what could be more cherished than championship rings and MVP trophies. Also, I think we should reconcile Erving’s statement with these reports:
The cash should come in handy for Erving, 61, who was sued last month for an outstanding debt of $205,277.84 to a bank in Georgia. The Heritage Golf Club near Atlanta he bought in 2008 and a $2.3 million home he owns in Utah face foreclosure.
But maybe there is something to what Erving said. The MVPs and rings are merely recognitions for the things that the man did on the court. And as long as there’s YouTube, we’ll always have access to that.
The 61-year-old Erving said the auction was part of a long-planned celebration of his career. He said most of his cherished possessions were in storage.