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    The NBA narrowly defeats the brash newcomers

    1972 Oscar Robertson ABA vs. NBA All-Star Game Worn Jersey, MEARS A10.

    UPDATE: Please note the following. The family name of the consignor is misspelled--correct spelling is Fleisher. Larry Fleisher was not Robertson's agent, but rather Executive Director of the NBAPA while Robertson was serving as President. Fleisher organized the All Star Game from which this jersey derives.

    Perhaps "game" was too gentle a term for the early 1970's battles between these rival leagues, all tending to be heated affairs that saw the likes of Rick Barry, David Cowens and Charlie Scott tossed for multiple technicals, and coaches Larry Brown and Tommy Heinsohn listening to broadcasts in the locker room after their own ejections. The early contests, including this 1972 edition, were hosted in ABA arenas, the NBA uninterested in showcasing (and legitimizing) its rival in front of NBA fans. The rules of play were a lesson in compromise, the ABA red, white and blue ball used for one half, the standard brown NBA model for the other. The ABA half allowed for three-point shots and a thirty-second shot clock, and in certain games the ABA's no-foul-out rule was in effect for the entire contest.

    Presented is Big O's gamer from the second ABA vs. NBA All-Star Game, a distinctively understated design with just a simple red and white tackle twill number "1" on the chest giving way to "Robertson 1" on reverse. The blue knit jersey holds "Gerry Cosby [size] 44 long" tagging at interior collar and exhibits proper wear for a single contest in which the legendary Milwaukee Bucks point guard put up fourteen points in a nail-biter of a 106-104 victory for the entrenched NBA over the feisty newcomers at Nassau Coliseum on May 25, 1972.

    Of course, the ABA (or, at least, a portion thereof) would ultimately be absorbed by the NBA, which would slowly transform into the high-flying style of play that made the rogue league such a formidable competitor. As such, this garment worn by a member of both the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame and the even more exclusive NBA Fifty Greatest Players club serves as a key stepping stone in the evolution of the professional game. It's a bona fide treasure for those hardcourt enthusiasts with an eye toward the history of the sport.

    The jersey derives from the personal collection of Big O's agent and 1991 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Larry Fleischer, and is consigned by his son with his letter of provenance. Letter of provenance from son of Larry Fleischer. LOA from Heritage Auctions. LOA from MEARS, A10.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    Jul-Aug, 2014
    31st-1st Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,198

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