I’m not sure how auctions are going to be hurt by all this coronavirus stuff. I was thinking they might see a spike, while everyone is stuck at home, trying to find things to do. Nothing like bidding on autographed items while stuck at home, right?
Basketball legend, and controversial commentator, Charles Barkley is selling lots of memorabilia from his Hall of Fame career. Now usually when people do this, it’s because they’re broke. And it’s always sad when you see some athlete you loved as a kid, and find out they have no money and need to sell those items. Yet Barkley is doing it so the proceeds can build affordable housing in Leeds, Alabama, the town he grew up in.
He wants the space to build houses there, and he’s asking the city and state for help, but also putting his own money behind the project.
The 1993 NBA MVP trophy he won, could get over $300,000. His 1992 and 1996 Olympic gold medals, nobody has a clue. Easily six-figures, though. An Olympic medal is valuable, but especially from someone that’s a household name.
The item I’d like most -- an American flag signed by his fellow 1992 Dream Teamers. That includes Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, John Stockton, Magic Johnson, and Larry Bird. I interviewed the team at the time, but when the press pass was issued to me, it specifically said on it that we couldn’t ask for autographs, so I didn’t. In fact, when taking photos, I got yelled at by John Stockton. To this day, I can’t figure out why he would have yelled at me, a 22-year-old media member, for taking a photo of him dribbling. He barked at me, saying he wanted to know the news outlet I worked for and everything. I explained he was my friend Bill’s favorite player, but he didn’t care.
Barkley has a lot of autographed jerseys and shoes from his teammates at those Olympics, and a photo of himself, with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Bill Russell, which was taken at an NCAA Final Four. Barkley added, when it came to Russell “If there was a fire, I’d probably grab the Russell autographed jersey first.” It’s one that commemorated the Boston legend’s five MVPs and 11 NBA championships. He added, “Bill don’t sign sh*t!”
That is true. I met Russell two times, and he refused to sign. He’s known for not signing, even for the teammates he played with.
Lucky for me, he was broadcasting the game with Rick Barry, who I was a bigger fan of. He happily signed for me.