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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 9/10/2022

With a heavy heart, SCP Auctions is honored to present the late Bill Russell’s Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame induction ring. His list of accomplishments is as lengthy as his 6’ 10” frame: a dozen NBA All-Star appearances and five league MVP awards, back-to-back NCAA Championships for the USF Dons, and a record 11 NBA titles as a member of the Boston Celtics (two as player-coach) – an astonishing feat never to be matched. Simply put, Russell will be remembered as the greatest winner in sports history. A courageous and outspoken pioneer for all African-American athletes in the 1950’s and 60’s, the stoic leader endured a level of racial abuse during his time in Beantown that perhaps only Jackie Robinson could relate to. It’s no wonder his jersey number has officially been retired leaguewide. Just like No. 42 in baseball, no NBA player can ever wear #6 again.

The countless accolades and championship pedigree made Russell a shoo-in for enshrinement in Springfield, Mass. when his time came in 1975. Yet, true to character, the man famously refused to attend his own ceremony, stating that other African-American roundball players deserved that honor before him. It took him several decades, but he eventually agreed to attend a private ceremony in 2019 to receive his long overdue Hall of Fame ring. Perhaps it was worth the wait as the modern version, since 2016 made of 14-karat gold with 1.625 carats of real diamonds, is spectacular. (The version made in '75 would have been made of 10K gold and CZ's.)

The face of this fine piece of jewelry has a rendering of the Naismith Hall of Fame spire set in a bed of diamonds. The spire itself has another, larger diamond set in the apex. “NAISMITH BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME” encircles the brown enamelwork, which resembles a basketball. On the right shank, the word “PLAYER” sits above a relief of Dr. James Naismith, the inventor of basketball. The left shank proudly displays “WILLIAM F. RUSSELL” and his original year of induction (“1975”), with an image of the Hall of Fame in between. Hallmarked inside the band is “ZALES ARTCARVED 14K.” The size 12¾ ring weighs 65 grams and presents in exceptional, barely worn condition. It comes in its original black presentation box, also made by Zales, equipped with the Naismith Hall of Fame emblem on top and a front nameplate reading "Wiliam F. Russell | Class of 1975 | Player." Upon opening the hinged lid, the interior roof illuminates and the ring rotates on its platform for the perfect showcase. Also included is a letter of provenance signed by Bill Russell.

Estimate: $150,000 - $250,000

Current Bidding (Reserve Has Been Met)
Minimum Bid: $30,000
Final prices include buyers premium.: $210,000
Number Bids:19
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