Everyone gets caught up in G.O.A.T. debates and who’s going to win the NBA Finals and MVP, but sometimes it’s bigger than basketball.
NBA Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar announced Tuesday that he is auctioning four of his six championship rings for charity, according to an ESPN report.
Abdul-Jabbar put up hundreds of items up for auction, being conducted by Goldin Auctions, with the majority of the proceeds going to his Skyhook Foundation, whose mission is to “give kids a shot that can’t be blocked.” (RELATED: NBA Star James Harden Helps 70 Kids Have Massive Shopping Sprees)
The Skyhook Foundation sends children from economically challenged schools to the Angeles National Forest for five days to “experience the wonders of nature and learn the basics about science, technology, and engineering,” Abdul-Jabbar wrote on his website.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar announced that he is auctioning off 4 of his 5 NBA championship rings among other memorabilia from his 20-year career for charity ???? pic.twitter.com/qojinFpVwm
— ESPN (@espn) February 26, 2019
Some of the other auctioned items include a signed basketball from Abdul-Jabbar’s last NBA game, three of his MVP trophies, several signed game-worn jerseys (mostly All-Star jerseys), various All-Star rings and other memorabilia.
Abdul-Jabbar’s 1985 championship ring, the last time he was awarded Finals MVP, has a bid of $90,000, the most expensive item as of Wednesday morning, according to Goldin Auctions.
It’s not uncommon to see valuable and sentimental sports items up for sale. Nearly 60 percent of NBA players run into financial trouble within five years after retiring, according to a 2009 Sports Illustrated article. Even other NBA legends like Julius “Dr. J” Erving had to dip into the trophy case to get out of debt.
But even though Abdul-Jabbar had some financial troubles in the past, he says teaming up with Deborah Morales at Iconomy kept him on a “solid financial path” that allowed him to continue his “passion for writing and collecting.”
“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,” Abdul-Jabbar wrote. “That’s a history that has no price.”
Abdul-Jabbar is the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, also winning six titles, six MVP’s and developed one of the most unstoppable moves the league has ever seen in the “sky hook.”