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    The NBA's scoring king wins NBA Championship, changes name...

    1970-71 Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) Game Worn Milwaukee Bucks Shooting Shirt. It was one of the most consequential coin flips in the history of American sports. After turning down a million dollar offer to sign as the star attraction of the Harlem Globetrotters, the three-time NCAA National Player of the Year from UCLA opted for fate instead, allowing a fifty-cent piece to determine his new home. Phoenix Suns executive Jerry Colangelo was tasked with making the call in the NBA offices for the privilege of the first pick in the 1969 draft, confident as he watched the tumbling Kennedy half dollar fall toward Commissioner J. Walter Kennedy's outstretched palm.

    The Arizona Republic newspaper had run a poll of its readers the previous week to vote heads or tails, and the residents of Phoenix had elected the former. How could they be wrong? "I just felt like we were going to win the flip," Colangelo later lamented. "We had taken a group of young guys in the expansion draft who would have fit perfectly with him (Alcindor). We would have been in prime position to have a good long run.''

    But rather than the profile of the fallen President, a stern bald eagle stared up at him, delivering the first draft pick, and thus the man who would become the most prolific scorer in the history of professional basketball, to the fledgling Milwaukee Bucks franchise. He'd lead Cream City to the brink of glory during his 1969-70 rookie season before sealing the deal in year two with the help of fellow future Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson. This gorgeous garment dates to what remains the only NBA Championship season in Bucks franchise history.

    Even in the absence of its iconic original ownership, this thing is a hardcourt treasure, a delectable collared, snap-front style with "Milwaukee" applied in two-tone tackle twill to obverse and "Alcindor" similarly applied above a spectacular team logo at verso. We should remember that Alcindor officially changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar the day after sweeping the Baltimore Bullets in the Finals, thereby establishing format this as the last of its breed. Interior collar holds well-worn "Sand-Knit Size 48" label above embroidered "33" swatch.

    The provenance is ironclad, the piece consigned to auction by former Bucks equipment manager Pat McBride, the same man who consigned Alcindor and Robertson jerseys that made a huge stir in the hobby when Heritage presented them seven years ago. His letter of provenance will ship with the shirt. LOA from MEARS, Authentic. LOA from Heritage Auctions. Letter of provenance from Milwaukee Bucks equipment manager.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2020
    29th-30th Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 18
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,252

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
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    Sold on Aug 30, 2020 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
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