2022 FALL PREMIER AUCTION

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Robert Clyde Jones is widely regarded as one of the greatest defensive players in basketball history. A North Carolinian and devoted Christian through and through, the 6' 9" power forward out of Charlotte played college ball at UNC (1971-74) for the legendary Dean Smith and spent his first four seasons (1974-78) in the pro with the Denver Nuggets where he played for fellow UNC alum Larry Brown. He then joined forces with Julius Erving in Philly, eventually helping the 76ers take home the 1983 NBA title. The five-time All-Star was a steady scorer, rebounder and shot-blocker throughout his career who made the NBA’s All-Defensive First Team an unprecedented eight straight years (1977-84).

During his Sixers tenure, Jones usually came off the bench, guarded the opposing team’s best frontcourt player, and did all the dirty work to help the team win. Not only did he pioneer the prototypical sixth man, but one could argue that Bobby Jones was basketball’s original Draymond Green, albeit a more polished, less argumentative, and better scoring version. Coaches and teammates marveled at his basketball IQ, leadership, and willingness to do the dirty work –setting screens, moving without the ball, diving after loose balls, hustling back on D, tipping passes, etc. – that never showed up in a box score. Amazingly, not once in Jones’ 12-year ABA/NBA career did his team fail to make the playoffs.

"If I was going to ask a youngster to model after someone, I would pick Bobby Jones,” Dr. J said. "He's totally selfless, runs like a deer, jumps like a gazelle, plays with his head and heart each night.” In addition, Bobby’s reputation as a clean, pure, deeply religious man precedes him. To this day he refrains from alcohol, tobacco, and any curse words. He once argued with a ref to ensure a foul was called on him. "Watching Bobby Jones on the court,” recalled Coach Brown, “is like watching an honest man in a liars’ poker game."

In 2019 (long overdue), Bobby Jones was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Featured here is his lovely induction ring and the lavish accessories it came with. Mr. Jones has generously agreed to part with this precious keepsake and donate all proceeds to charity. He has always been philanthropic towards Christian outreach programs, and in this case your purchase will benefit Wycliffe Bible Translators (https://www.wycliffe.org/about), a non-profit founded in 1917 that has translated the Bible into several hundred languages worldwide.

Beginning with the 2016 class, the Basketball Hall of Fame upgraded its induction rings with a new design and more bling. The older versions were made with CZs, but contemporary versions are crafted with real diamonds and have a completely different design. At first Zales was commissioned to be the exclusive provider. (Bill Russell received his 1975 HOF ring a few years before his death in the modernized Zales version, which we recently sold for a record $210,000). In 2019, Naismith passed the torch to Baron Rings whose design is nearly identical.

The face 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 a red stone base. On the right shank, the word “PLAYER” [as opposed to “Coach”] sits above a relief of basketball’s inventor, Dr. James Naismith. The left shank proudly displays “BOBBY JONES” and his year of induction (“2019”) with an image of the Hall of Fame Museum in between. Hallmarked inside the band is the Baron logo and “10K”. Made of 10-karat yellow gold, the ring comes in a massive size 14¼ and weighs 58 grams, appearing like new with hardly any wear visible. We were unable to confirm the total carats, but it appears to have the same number of cut diamonds (15) as the recent Zales version.

Baron’s presentation package for this ring is over the top! An extravagant black display case opens to reveal the following items: a 7” x 7” x 4.5” black wooden presentation box with the Naismith Hall of Fame emblem and “Bobby Jones – 2019” etched in its glass top – upon opening the hinged lid, there is slot to hold the ring in place and a light can be switched on to showcase it; an unopened bottle of Armand de Brignac “Ace of Spades” Gold Brut – Jay-Z’s luxury champagne brand valued at $300 online; and a small portable black ring box. The large rectangular Baron display case that holds everything securely in place slides into an outer Naismith HOF branded cardboard cover and fits perfectly inside a Baron carrying bag. And finally, this lot comes with a letter of provenance from Bobby Jones himself.

Wycliffe Bible Translators

“No one should have to learn another language to understand God's Word. And yet millions of people are still waiting for a single word of the Bible's life-transforming power. Let's help churches and communities around the world get Scripture in their language ... until all the nations worship!” - https://www.wycliffe.org/

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