The Philadelphia 76ers bought 18 items from Julius Erving’s memorabilia sale Monday, bringing many of Erving’s prized possessions home to where he made his name in the NBA. The 76ers’ next trick might be bringing Erving into the front office of the franchise.
This is one heck of a first step to bringing Dr. J back into the 76ers family.
The memorabilia, which includes a late-1970s warmup, an autographed pair of his Converse sneakers and his 1983 J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award, span the entirety of Erving’s career, including his college and ABA days. The 76ers plan to display the memorabilia at the Wells Fargo Center and the team’s practice facility. They did not get any of the big-ticket items.
But this is a good step forward for the new ownership to reach out to their new fans. The team is trying to find ways to make the fan experience at games better. And have been active in doing so. This should surely delight some fans.
Erving told the Associated Press he was aware the 76ers bought a few of the items at the auction but had no comment otherwise.
The Sixers did not get any of the high-priced items. Every lot the team bought was $10,000 or less.
According to SCP Auctions, the auction racked up a record $3.5 million. The highest bid went for Erving’s 1974 New York Nets ABA championship ring. It fetched $460,471 on its own. Erving’s 1983 76ers NBA Championship ring was also sold in the auction. The team did not acquire that piece of memorabilia.
Erving said he would donate some of the proceeds to the Salvation Army and that the memorabilia auction had been something he was planning for some time.
It is good to know that at least some of Erving’s gear has found a place back home. Now Philadelphia hopes the franchise’s most celebrated athlete finds a way to join the team.