Julius Erving’s ABA Championship Ring Fetches Record Price at Auction

Hall of Fame basketball player Julius Erving’s first championship ring sold for $460,741, a price SCP Auctions said is the highest paid for a sports ring.

Erving’s ring from winning the 1974 American Basketball Association title with the the New York Nets was among the 144 items sold at auction yesterday by the former player nicknamed “Dr. J.” The collection brought in more than $3.5 million and Erving, 61, has said he’ll donate part of the proceeds to the Salvation Army.

“This is the most incredible auction we have been a part of,” David Kohler, president of SCP Auctions, said in an e- mailed statement. “With such historic items, we were able to realize our best auction ever.”

Four of Erving’s other rings sold for more than $200,000, including one from his 1983 National Basketball Association championship win with the Philadelphia 76ers that went for $244,240. Erving’s NBA Most Valuable Player trophy from the 1980-81 season had a sale price of $177,632.

Erving, whose above-the-rim playing style was credited with helping to bring about the merger of the NBA and ABA, was an All-Star in every season he played, retiring with a 24.2 points- per-game scoring average in the two leagues. His combined 30,026 points are fifth on the career list.

The second-highest priced item from the auction, which ended yesterday, was a bat that baseball Hall of Fame first baseman Lou Gehrig used to hit his last home run as a member of the New York Yankees. The bat, which was from the estate of actor Bing Russell, sold for $403,664.

Muhammad Ali’s blood-red trunks worn during his March 8, 1971, boxing match against Joe Frazier -- a bout labeled as the “Fight of the Century” -- sold for $173,102.

To contact the reporter on this story: Erik Matuszewski in New York at matuszewski@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net

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