Summer Premier Auction 2019


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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 9/28/2019

Like baseball, the island of Puerto Rico enjoys a long history of hosting a professional off-season basketball league known to locals as Baloncesto Superior Nacional, or simply the BSN. Young American players honing their skills played alongside native-born players, coached by some of the best talent the NBA had to offer. One of those coaches who made the journey south year after year was Hall of Fame coach Red Holzman. During the 1960s Holzman coached the BSN’s most dominant team, Leones de Ponce (Ponce Lions), sharpening the leadership skills he would unleash when he guided the New York Knicks to two World Championships in the 1970s. Holzman later told a young Phil Jackson that “one of the best places to coach is Puerto Rico. It’s a game and a place where the energy is so intense, the language skills are different. It’s just basketball in its rawest form, and you learn to coach off the seat of your pants.” This collection of Puerto Rican objects was saved by Holzman in memory of his years spent coaching on the island.

The first item is a game ball signed by the 1964 BSN champion Leones team. Over 14 members have signed the ball in strong black marker, including legendary point guard Juan “Pachin” Vicens who starred at Kansas State before leading his club and country to much great success. There are three trophies that were presented to Holzman as coach of the champion Leones in 1964 and 1965 (they would three-peat in ’66). A typewritten note to Holzman from one of his championship teams has been signed by 17 members, Vicens included, thanking him for leading them to victory. This touching piece has been framed for display. The final pieces in this lot are a trio of Spanish-language Puerto Rican basketball programs dating to 1962, 1964 and 1965. A very unique lot that highlights a little-known part of early basketball’s Puerto Rican connection. Includes LOA from the Holzman family.

Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $300
Final prices include buyers premium.: $0
Number Bids: 0
Auction closed on Saturday, September 28, 2019.
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