2023 February Finest Auction


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They say point guards make great coaches, and Lenny Wilkens was a prime example. The New York native molded his cerebral skill set on the Brooklyn playgrounds before becoming an All-American at Providence College and an early first round draft pick by the St. Louis Hawks in 1960. The 9-time All-Star finished 2nd to Wilt Chamberlain in the 1968 MVP voting and later became a player-coach in Seattle before transitioning full-time to the sidelines. Wilkens would guide the SuperSonics to back-to-back Finals appearances, including the franchise’s only NBA title in 1979. From 1969 to 2005, he coached an NBA-record 2,487 games (plus four All-Star games) with six teams – the Blazers, Sonics, Cavs, Hawks, Raptors and Knicks, in that order – and sits second all-time in wins with 1,332 (just three behind Don Nelson). He was voted to the NBA’s Top 10 Coaches in History list in 1996, but only Wilkens was inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame three separate times: first as a player, second as a coach, and third as a member of the 1992 Olympic “Dream Team.” Thus, he is the only Naismith Hall of Famer to be issued three different rings.

Presented here is Lenny Wilkens’ Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame induction ring presented to him in 2010 for his efforts as member of the famous USA Basketball “Dream Team” that ran away with the gold medal at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. Wilkens was one of three assistant coaches – along with P. J. Carlesimo and Mike Krzyzewski – under head coach Chuck Daly. Records indicate that this is the very first 1992 Olympic Dream Team ring from either player (12 total) or coach (4 total) ever offered publicly. The chances that any of the other elite 15 rings hit the market anytime soon are slim to none.

The yellow Lustrium ring, made by Jostens, boasts a CZ at the center atop a small gold wreath and red stone backdrop, encircled by the words "Basketball Hall of Fame." On the left shank is "OLYMPIC TEAM" in bold relief atop a figural relief of two players contesting for the ball. On the right shank is "1992" in bold relief over the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame shield logo. The inside of the band is hallmarked "YLTM" with the Jostens logo. The size 11.5 ring shows light to moderate wear and presents beautifully. Includes LOA from Wilkens.

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