LOS ANGELES – Legendary center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is auctioning hundreds of items from his memorabilia collection, including four of his five NBA championship rings he won with the Los Angeles Lakers, his website announced on Tuesday.
Most of the proceeds from the auction, which is run by Goldin Auctions, will go to his “Skyhook Foundation” charity to help children learn about science, technology, engineering and math.
In addition to the championship rings from 1980, 1985, 1987 and 1988, which he won as a member of the Lakers, Abdul-Jabbar is also auctioning the signed and registered uniform he wore during his final game in 1989.
During his brilliant 20-season professional career, the first NBA player to do so, Abdul-Jabbar broke the all-time best by scoring 38,387 points.
In his career he also achieved 17,440 rebounds and 3,189 blocks in the 1,560 games he played, first with the Milwaukee Bucks team, with whom he won his first NBA championship ring. Then he got another five with the Lakers.
“When it comes to choosing between storing a championship ring or trophy in a room, or providing kids with an opportunity to change their lives, the choice is pretty simple. Sell it all,” Abdul-Jabbar wrote in his blog about why he auctions the valuable memorabilia of his sports history.
Abdul-Jabbar, 71, also writes that “Looking back on what I have done with my life, instead of gazing at the sparkle of jewels or gold plating celebrating something I did a long time ago, I’d rather look into the delighted face of a child holding their first caterpillar and think about what I might be doing for their future. That’s a history that has no price.”
Some of the championship rings start with a minimum bid of $60,000. T-shirts, uniforms, trophies and even several keys to the cities he received are also available on the website.
“Since my life is still happening and ever-evolving, I am less personally attached to those items than I am to my desire to create new history for myself-and futures for others,” Abdul-Jabbar said.
“Giving low-income children the opportunity to grow up as students of science, mathematics, technology and engineering is a big deal,” he added.