Hall of Famer Julius Erving has opted to part ways with multiple pieces of memorabilia earned during his remarkable basketball career, the Philadelphia Daily News reported Wednesday.
The hardcourt legend, known round the world as Doctor J, has decided to put several pieces of his personal collection on the bidding table this fall through SCP Auctions.
Among the prized items Erving has decided to part with is the former Philadelphia Sixer’s 1983 NBA championship ring, his 1980-81 NBA MVP trophy and the jersey he wore in his final NBA game in 1987. He also plans to auction off a ring awarded in 1996 after being named as one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history.
"I am very excited to work with SCP Auctions to offer my personal collection of memorabilia to collectors and fans," Erving said in a statement. "It is my hope that the buyers of these items will derive much pleasure from their ownership."
Erving, 61, also will auction off items earned during his stellar career in the American Basketball Association (ABA) prior to the league merging with the NBA in 1976. The former Virginia Squire and New Jersey Net will part with his 1975-76 ABA MVP trophy as well as two ABA championship rings won during the 1974 and 1976 seasons.
In his statement, Erving said a portion of the proceeds will go to the Salvation Army, a lifelong charity of the former hardcourt star. But a report by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday shed light on the possibility of a different reason behind Erving’s decision to part with his personal items.
According to the report, Erving was sued by a Georgia bank last week after he failed to pay a $200,000 balance on a loan obtained in 2009. Erving moved to the Atlanta area in 2008, two years after purchasing a local golf course, which has since been placed in foreclosure.
But SCP president and CEO David Kohler said Erving’s decision to auction pieces of his collection is not related to the bank’s lawsuit, saying his organization and Erving had been "talking about this for about a year" and it was decided the timing was right with Erving entering his 25th year post retirement.
Erving was named an All-Star 16 times during his pro basketball career, including 11 times in as many seasons with the Sixers. The high-flying showman led Philadelphia to the playoffs every year he played for the club, helping the franchise win its last NBA title in 1983.