Fall Premier Auction 2020

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From the late 1950s through the end of the 1960s, there was no basketball team more dominant than the Boston Celtics. Beginning in 1957, Boston won 11 NBA Championships and 12 Conference Titles. Among the NBA icons who drove that early Celtics dynasty was their 6’-9” reserve center, Clyde Lovellette. By the time Lovellette arrived in Boston he was a veteran of almost a decade of NBA play. Before that, Lovellette had led the University of Kansas to the 1952 NCAA title and won a Gold Medal for the USA at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, Finland before turning pro. When he helped the Minneapolis Lakers grab the 1954 NBA Championship, Clyde Lovellette became the first player in history to turn the game’s coveted trifecta of an NCAA Championship, Olympic Gold Medal and an NBA Championship. Along the way, the imposing center became one of the first players to introduce the one-handed set shot, forever upsetting the conventional way of playing the game, and ushering the modern era of the NBA.

The future Hall of Famer was wrapping up his long career when he arrived in Beantown at the start of the ’62-’63 season. Celtics Coach Red Auerbach shrewdly acquired Lovellette as a solid backup to an already great championship club. Lovellette helped the Celts win championships in both seasons he played, 1962-63 and 1963-64. Lovellette spelled fellow future Hall of Famer Bill Russell, making his limited playing time count by averaging 6.6 points and just under 3 rebounds in nine minutes a game. In the 1963 Finals, Lovellette helped the Celtics beat his former team, the Lakers, 4 games to 2. The next year, Lovellette put the crowning touch on his career by winning his third and final NBA Championship when Boston whipped San Francisco, 4 games to 1. As a final honor to his exceptional career, the NBA pioneer was voted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1988.

This ring was the fruit of Lovellette’s first of the back to back NBA Championships he helped bring to Boston, beginning with the 1962-63 season. The 10k gold ring features a diamond mounted on the center of the face, encircled by “WORLD CHAMPIONS” in raised letters. Each shank carries a dimensional shamrock with “1963” in raised characters above a banner that once proclaimed “CELTICS.” The inside carries the Koch 10k hallmark.

Though he had an NCAA ring and two other NBA Championship rings to choose from, Clyde Lovellette must have been especially proud of his ’63 Championship ring for its surfaces shows much wear from prolonged daily use by the Hall of Fame legend. A tremendous piece of basketball history from not only one of the greatest dynasties the game has ever seen, but from a special player who won at all levels and helped lay the foundation for the modern game. Weight: 28 grams. Size: 12. 

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