Wilt Chamberlain’s rookie uniform won’t be changing hands after all. The artifact’s shareholders on the asset investing platform Collectable rejected a $2 million offer Tuesday, with 82% of voters (weighted by their holding size) saying no deal. The price would have been the second highest ever paid for a basketball uniform. Fractional shares of the 1959-60 full uniform—tank top and shorts together—have been trading on Collectable since this spring, rising from an initial value of roughly $1.25 million to more than $1.6 million this weekend. Collectable operates under the idea that sports memorabilia ought to be an asset class in addition to being wall decor. And this year has been kind to collectible investors.
The current record for an NBA kit belongs to a signed Kobe Bryant jersey that sold for $3.69 million in May. The previous high was $1.38 million, set by a Michael Jordan North Carolina piece. The Chamberlain uniform sold for $700,000 in 2019. Collectable said the uniform was likely worn for every home game during Chamberlain’s rookie year, when he averaged 38 points and 27 rebounds for the 49-26 Philadelphia Warriors.
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27 Sep 20
“Boobie Smooth”: To see somebody that just came up with a championship get out there and play and still want to prove something and let people [who] couldn’t be at those [Finals] games and couldn’t afford [it] … it meant everything to a lot of people. They’re still talking about it. Mallozzi: I talked to Kobe a couple years later. We walked about a mile and a half together delivering food to shelters. I believe we walked right down Lenox Avenue [in Harlem]. And he said Rucker was one of the greatest experiences of his basketball career. This is from his mouth as I remember it: “All the greats came through that [park],” he said, “Wilt Chamberlain went through the Rucker. [Walt] Frazier, Earl Monroe.”
[Isiah Thomas]: On Giannis, “This was a Wilt Chamberlain performance, this was a Lew Alcindor/Kareem, you know, Shaq performance. This wasn’t like just, you know, a Dirk Nowitzki performance or a Karl Malone. This was like the giants of our industry. That kind of performance.”
LeBron James: “However many years that is, if it’s four, five, six, whatever, seven. I hope I can continue to play the game. I love being in L.A., my family loves being in L.A. Being with a historical franchise like the Lakers is something … It’s like me being in “Space Jam” — I never thought it would be possible. You think about Kareem, and Magic, and Wilt, and Jerry West and Elgin Baylor, Kobe, Shaq and all of them. The whole list goes on.”