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    A gorgeous rarity from the waning years of the American Basketball Association...

    1974-75 Maurice Lucas Game Worn Spirits of St. Louis (ABA) Game Worn Rookie Uniform with Family Letter. It's one of the most unusual and interesting "rags to riches" stories in professional sports, a franchise that staggered through the rogue American Basketball Association as the Houston Mavericks (1967-69), then the Carolina Cougars (1969-74) before effectively restarting from scratch as the Spirits of St. Louis for just two years of on-court play that saw daily attendance drop into the triple-digits in an 18,000 seat arena. But as the ABA was wiped from existence through bankruptcies and an NBA merger, the Silna brothers who owned the Spirits struck a prescient future television revenue deal with the league and reaped close to a billion dollars over the next four decades without ever fielding a team again.

    But during that blink-and-you'll-miss-it time in St. Louis, the Spirits wore one of the most gorgeous uniforms in the history of American sports, the name and design paying tribute to Charles Lindbergh's historic solo crossing of the Atlantic nearly a half-century earlier. This ensemble was worn by one of the team's greatest stars, power forward Maurice Lucas, who would become a four-time NBA All-Star and 1977 NBA Champion with the Portland Trail Blazers in the years to come. As a rookie with the 1974-75 Spirits, he'd make it all the way to the Division Finals before falling to the Kentucky Colonels, a team he'd join the following year.

    The presented white cheesecloth stunner posts the team name in two-tone script above an image of Lindy's ride and Lucas' number "20," the same number he'd wear throughout most of his sixteen professional seasons. "Lucas 20" is applied in the same tackle twill format on verso. Lower right front tail bears "Rawlings [size] 44" label with "4" Longer" tailoring label anchored to the right. Matching shorts bear well-worn "Rawlings [size] 34" label with a few different numbers written and crossed out inside before Lucas' number "20," illustrating how cost-conscious the team was in reusing uniforms when players were traded--we can see Bernie Fryer's number "12," suggesting he wore these shorts before being dealt to New Orleans mid-season.

    Game wear throughout is outstanding, not surprising for a man who gained fame as one of the hardcourt's first true "enforcers." There's a small bit of damage to the jersey logo, and dye bleed on the shorts, but neither causes any real distraction. The uniform originates from the Lucas family, and is accompanied by a letter of provenance from Maurice's son. Letter of provenance from son of Maurice Lucas. LOA from Heritage Auctions.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2021
    27th-28th Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 17
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,304

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    20% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Sold on Feb 27, 2021 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
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