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1986 Julius Erving Signed Game-Used NBA Basketball - His Final Game in Sacramento - Team Owner Provenance!
Starting Bid - $300, Sold For - $1,998
Extremely rare game-used NBA basketball, from Julius Erving’s last game at Sacramento, signed “Julius ‘Dr. J” Erving” in black Sharpie on a side panel. Erving’s signature, which grades “8/9,” is notable for its length, measuring eleven inches across and encompassing nearly the entire panel. Unlike baseball and football, where numerous balls are used throughout a game, only one game ball is used in basketball. For that reason, game-used NBA balls are extremely rare. Its scarcity as a game-used ball notwithstanding, the offered ball is also particularly noteworthy due to its provenance. This ball was personally signed for Sacramento Kings team owner Frank McCormack and is pictured in McCormack's book, Never Lose - A Decade of Sports and Politics in Sacramento (1989, First Ink Publishing House, Rancho Cordova, California). A copy of that book, inscribed to our consignor by McCormack, accompanies the ball. In his inscription, dated “3-13-03” and scripted on the front flyleaf, McCormack personally affirms the ball’s provenance by writing “Congrats on you getting the Game Ball from Dr. J’s last game in Sacramento. You will enjoy seeing your ball in the picture section of the book. If you read my book and have any questions please write and I will answer them. – Frank McCormick.” Although McCormick does not mention the date of Erving’s last game in Sacramento, it took place on December 27, 1986. Erving scored 19 points that night in leading the Philadelphia 76ers to a 99-95 victory over the Kings. McCormack obviously appreciated the history of the night and following the contest he obtained the game ball and had Erving sign it for him. As noted in the book, a few years later he also had Kareem Abdul Jabbar sign the game ball from his last game in Sacramento (1988-1989 season). While we cannot be certain how many Julius Erving signed game-used NBA basketballs exist, this is the first example we have ever seen. The Spalding Official NBA Game Ball, which has the team name, “Kings” stamped on a panel, displays heavy use and is in Very Good condition overall. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $300. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $1,998
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