In 2019, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar auctioned off four of his NBA championship rings. According to ESPN, Jabbar’s four championship rings and other memorabilia were up for sale, with the money raised going to his foundation, the Skyhook Foundation, which aims to encourage young people to pursue careers in the STEM fields.
“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,” Jabbar said. He added: “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.”
ESPN stated that the starting price for certain championship rings was $60,000. Trophies and game-used jerseys were also offered for sale to the highest bidder. An signed basketball from his final game in 1989 also went up for sale.
“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,” Jabbar said. “Much of the proceeds from my auction will go to support my charity, the Skyhook Foundation, whose mission is to ‘give kids a shot that can’t be blocked. We do this by sending children from economically challenged schools to spend five days in the Angeles National Forest to experience the wonders of nature and learn the basics about science, technology, and engineering.”
Jabbar won six NBA championships—five with the Lakers and one with the Milwaukee Bucks. He held the NBA scoring title for 39 years until LeBron James broke the record as reported by Lit604 back in February. – Steve Sijenyi