Auction Of Bill Russell’s Mementos Fetches Over $5 Million

The 11-time NBA champion has auctioned a total of 429 of his items which he gathered from his long-time career. The auction was held on the TD Garden on Friday, December 11, 2021, which featured his accumulated titles, including his two NCAA titles, 1956 Olympic medal, and 11 NBA championships in the 13 years he played in NBA. After the auction was done, the total of the items sold totaled over $5 million. The top 18 most valued items have brought it over $5.3 million just on their own.

The jersey that Bill Russell wore on his final game was the highest valued item which was sold for $1.1 million. It was the same jersey that Russell wore on Game 7 of the NBA Finals in 1969 against the team Los Angeles Lakers. It was his last game, and they won their 11th championship, which made the jersey valuable among the fans. Another item that has the highest auction value was Russell’s Olympic gold medal in 1956, which was sold for $587,500. Russell also sold a page from his scrapbook that has a letter from Jackie Robinson, which was sold for $94,000. The letter of Robinson was given to Russell and four of his other black teammates to thank them for refusing to play in an exhibition in Kentucky in 1961.

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The most iconic warmup fleece worn by the Boston Celtics Hall of Famer Russell was sold for $94,000. Another lot that drew a huge amount of bidders is his first championship which was sold for $705,000. Russell also decided to sell all five of his NBA MVP trophies which have combined net proceeds of $1.3 million. During his career, Russell was also an active advocate of the civil rights movement wherein he marched with Martin Luther King Jr and stood beside Muhammad Ali when he stripped off his title for heavyweight after refusing the induction in the Vietnam War.

A portion of the proceeds from the auction will be given to MENTOR, an organization that connects young people with advisers that can provide them with lots of opportunities in terms of career. Some portion of the proceeds will then go to the Boston Celtics United for Social Justice, which helps fight the injustice against racism and the social inequities in the area of Greater Boston.

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Sources: The State, ESPN, Slam Online

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