“It’s gotta be the shoes!” In those immortal words spoken by Spike Lee’s fictional character Mars Blackmon in countless Nike commercials during the mid-‘80s, these are the shoes! An extremely rare pair of autographed and game-used Nike Air shoes worn by arguably the NBA’s greatest player ever have surfaced from Michael Jordan’s 1984-85 rookie campaign with the Chicago Bulls. This pair was worn by “His Airness” in an away game versus the Los Angeles Lakers at The Fabulous Forum on Dec. 2, 1984, just prior to the official unveiling of Jordan’s first line of Nike Air Jordans. The shoes that Jordan wore in the Bulls’ 113-112 victory in which he scored 20 points will now be featured in SCP Auctions’ 2015 Spring Premier starting April 8 at www.scpauctions.com. The signed shoes are expected to fetch $50,000 or more.
The pair has been in the possession of the former Lakers ball boy for the past three decades. They’ve been taking up space in his closet, as well as his mom’s closet for the past 30 years, and he finally decided it was time to put them up for auction. His name is Khalid Ali and believe it or not, as a 15-year-old ball boy he had the tenacity to walk up to Michael Jordan during the Bulls’ pregame warm-ups and literally ask him for the shoes.
The back-story is that he originally asked Jordan for a pair of tri-color (red, black and white) Nike shoes that Michael was simply breaking in during warm-ups. “They were an intriguing blend of multi-colored Nike shoes,” recalled Ali. “I had never seen a pair of Nike shoes with three colors before.”
After shoot-arounds, however, Jordan went back to the locker room and came out for the game wearing a completely different pair of white Nike Air shoes with the red swoosh. Those are the shoes he gave to Ali in the Bulls’ locker room following the game. According to Ali, Jordan even grabbed a pen out of his duffle bag and signed them both. These are considered the first ever pre-Air Jordan gamers to hit the hobby. He only wore this style of shoe during the early portion of his rookie campaign before switching full time to Air Jordans later in the season.
Online bidding, open to registered bidders, will run for two-and-a-half weeks and conclude on Saturday, April 25. The online bidding for the MJ gamers promises to be fierce. -Terry Melia
Gene Tenace says he doesn’t need the money. Says he’s not selling his memorabilia to get over the financial hump. Nevertheless, he hooked up with an auction house to sell some of his most prized possessions.
Few coaches in history have come close to the success of John Wooden, the late men’s basketball coach at UCLA. Nicknamed the “Wizard of Westwood” he produced 27 straight winning campaigns for the Bruins, compiling an incredible record of 620-147 (.808 winning percentage). As UCLA’s head coach he won 10 NCAA national championships in a 12-year period, including an unprecedented seven in a row from 1967 to ‘73. Within that time-frame, his teams won a record 88 straight games, which remains an NCAA basketball record. Not surprisingly, he was named national coach of the year six different times. SCP Auctions is proud to present Wooden’s circa 1970s UCLA Basketball Coach’s Jacket in its upcoming Spring Premier. Worn by Wooden during his later years at the helm, it’s a treasured piece of college basketball memorabilia from one of the greatest coaches in history. The auction begins April 8 and runs through April 25.
Many people may not be aware, but Wooden was quite an accomplished player himself long before assuming the coaching reigns. Born in Hall, Indiana in 1910, he became a play-making guard at nearby Martinsville High School and led the Artesians to three straight state championship games, losing as a sophomore and a senior but winning it all as a junior in 1927. After graduating in 1928, he attended Purdue University and became the first consensus three-time All-American in the history of college basketball. He helped the Boilermakers win a Helms Athletic Foundation National Championship in 1932, seven years before the birth of the NCAA Tournament. Wooden would eventually be named a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player (inducted in 1961) and as a coach (in 1973), the first person ever to be enshrined in both categories.
SCP Auctions, one of the nation’s largest auctioneers and private sellers of important sports memorabilia and cards, has just unveiled its new website: scpauctions.com. Full of vibrant colors, fresh design and user-friendly navigation, the new look is highlighted by the company’s world-record prices for top lots over the past two decades as well as easy bidder registration for upcoming auctions and search capabilities for recent online auction results and highlights.
“We needed a facelift,” said David Kohler, president of SCP Auctions. “It was time for us to make a renewed statement about what we do best and that’s to sell important sports memorabilia and cards to collectors worldwide.”
As the company that has set world-record prices in several categories including a Babe Ruth circa 1920 game-worn New York Yankees road jersey for $4.4 million, a 1909-11 T206 Honus Wagner baseball card for $2.8 million and one of Jesse Owens’ 1936 Olympic gold medals from Berlin, Germany for $1.4 million, SCP Auctions has reconstructed its online look and feel to engage users to peruse the site and fully understand the company’s far-reaching capabilities.
“People need to know that if they’re in possession of a vintage or sought-after piece of sports memorabilia that SCP Auctions offers them the best opportunity for financial reward if they decide to see it at auction,” added Kohler. “We hope our new website conveys that message.”
A newly added z-mag of the company’s latest catalog is now available online as is a brand new Blog that showcases the company’s achievements and record sales as well as important new consignments and company events. An impressive testimonials section from professional players who have consigned their personal collections to SCP Auctions like Julius Erving, Bob Cousy and Paul Hornung is also featured.
SCP Auctions’ 2015 Spring Premier is scheduled to start on March 25 with its consignments deadline fast approaching on February 13. The auction will be conducted online at scpauctions.com. For more information, call 949-831-3700.